Rapper Eyed in Beheading of James Foley
UK intelligence said to have found a suspect
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2014 1:40 PM CDT
In this May 27, 2011 file photo, American journalist James Foley, of Rochester, NH, who was last seen on Nov. 22 2012 in northwest Syria, poses for a photo in Boston.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(Newser) – British officials say they've identified the ex-pat who beheaded James Foley but won't yet release his name, the Sunday Times reports. Investigators narrowed the case down to four suspects—including a British doctor's brother and an ex-gang member who went to Syria—but UK rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary has topped the list, the New York Post reports (the Independent and Telegraph also say he's under investigation). Bary, 24, is the son of a militant from Egypt who's now facing charges in New York City for allegedly bombing US embassies abroad 16 years ago. More on Bary:

  • Former hostages have identified him as one of the British captors dubbed "the Beatles" (Bary is suspected of being "John," while the other two are known as "George" and "Ringo").
  • Really a budding rapper, Bary released a few videos and left his London family for Syria after studying with radical Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary. (See one of Bary's music videos here.)
  • He recently posted a photo of himself on Twitter wearing a black balaclava and holding a severed head (the Post ran the pic, partly blurred out).
  • How are intelligence officials trying to find their man? Apparently by matching skin tone, height, and voice tone—although experts tell CNN that matching voices is no easy task.
Meanwhile, a mass will be held for Foley today in his hometown of Rochester, NH, the AP reports. (Another US journalist was freed after being kidnapped in Turkey.)