- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The father of the Islamic State group’s Jihadi John says his son is “dog, an animal and a terrorist.”

Jassem Emwazi, 51, told a colleague that his 26-year-old son Mohammed asked for forgiveness in 2013 before heading off to Syria “for jihad,” The Telegraph reported Tuesday. That coworker, Abu Meshaal, told the newspaper that the elder Emwazi wept as he relayed the story.

“He was very emotional and crying the whole time,” said Mr. Meshaal, the newspaper reported. “He said, ‘My son is a dog, he is an animal, a terrorist.’ He said he had talked to him a lot trying to persuade him to return to his personal life but that the son didn’t listen to him. He said, ‘To hell with my son.’ “

Mr. Meshaal was called so that Mr. Emwazi could explain his absence from his job as a storekeeper in a town near Kuwait’s border with Iraq, The Telegraph reported. The family is dealing with the “catastrophe” heaped upon the family by Jihadi John. Mr. Emwazi was also interrogated by Kuwaiti authorities last Sunday, although he was told he would not be held responsible for his son’s actions.

“He is sitting home and cannot even go to the mosque to pray because he is ashamed of his son. He doesn’t want people to see him, so he is praying at home,” Mr. Meshaal told the newspaper.

Mohammed Emwazi graduated from the University of Westminister in London in 2009 and has a degree in computer programming. He has appeared in the Islamic State group’s beheading videos since August 2014.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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