Report: James Foley Killer Identified As Former Rapper

British rhymer implicated in brutal slaying of American photojournalist. 

Posted: 08/26/2014 11:48 AM EDT
Filed Under Music News, terrorism

James Foley

The man responsible for beheading kidnapped American photojournalist James Foley has been identified by British authorities as a 24-year-old former rapper

Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary is believed to be the masked member of the Islamic militant group ISIS, who held a knife to Foley's neck as he kneeled in front of camera and read a prepared statement.

Bary, who is Egyptian, left his family's London home two years ago to become a jihadist in Syria. According to the UK's Independent newspaper, he rhymed under the name L Jinny or Lyracist Jinn. His lyrical topics ranged from trying to make a "change" of some sort (but having blood on his hands) to smoking weed and potentially being deported back to Egypt. In one song he rapped, "I can't differentiate the angels from the demons/ My heart's disintegrating/ I ain't got normal feelings."

The White House has not yet confirmed Bary as Foley's masked murderer. "We're not in a position to say exactly who the man in the video is yet, but we are actively working with our British counterparts to determine that every day," said Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department. 

A forensic expert who analyzed the tape of Foley's brutal death says that he was likely killed first and beheaded after the fact. "I think it has been staged," the expert said, noting that the knife-wielding man never makes an incision into the war journalists's neck while he's on camera. "My feeling is that the execution may have happened after the camera was stopped." The nearly five-minute clip of Foley's death fades to black momentarily and, in the next clip, the man implicated as Bary is holding his severed head.   

Prior to Foley's massacre, Bary was most infamously known for tweeting a photo of himself holding another severed head, and captioning the gruesome image, "Chillin' with my homie or what's left of him." The Twitter account has since been deactivated. 

His father is Egyptian refugee Adel Abdul Bary, believed to be a close lieutenant of Osama Bin Laden. In 2012, Adel was extradited to the U.S. on terrorist charges connected to the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in east Africa. 

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(Photo: AP Photo/GlobalPost, File)

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