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

(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.)

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.
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)
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