US Confident Drone Strike Killed ISIS Executioner

US officials are “reasonably certain” the ISIS executioner known as “Jihadi John” was killed in a Nov. 12 airstrike on the group’s self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa, Syria. An Air Force drone fired a Hellfire missile at a car, which officials believed held the British man, named Mohammed Emwazi, and his driver. “It will take some time for us to formally declare we know we have had success,” coalition spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said Nov. 13. “We know for a fact the weapon system hit its intended target, and the personnel on the receiving end of that weapons system were in fact killed.” Emwazi became the public face of ISIS, notoriously murdering US journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, US aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, and several other hostages, according to a Defense Department statement. “This is a significant blow to the prestige of ISIL,” Warren said. “Jihadi John wasn’t a major tactical figure or operational figure … This guy was a human animal and killing him is probably making the world a better place.” (See also Targeting ISIS from the November 2014 issue of Air Force Magazine.)