Siddhartha Dhar alias Abu Rumaysah had uploaded this picture with an AK-47 and his new-born baby to taunt the British authorities under whose watch he was able to leave London and travel to Syria with his wife and three children. 
  • 1. The 'New Jihadi John'
  • 2. The Making of a Terrorist
  • 3. The Travel Guide
  • 4. An Outspoken Radical
Who is IS’s ‘New Jihadi John’, Siddhartha Dhar?

Born to an Indian family in Britain, Siddhartha Dhar converted to Islam at the age of 19 and came to be known as Abu Rumaysah. By some accounts, he ‘changed’ as a teenager, after his father’s death, when he started shunning television and began sleeping on the floor. Other reports say it was because he wanted to marry Aisha. What’s undisputed, however, is the radicalisation that followed.

He became a street preacher, advocating Shariah law in the UK. Consequently, in September 2014, after being arrested for allegedly encouraging terrorism, he was let out on bail and told to submit his passport to the authorities. Instead, Rumayasah, Aisha and their three children boarded a train to Paris from London’s Victoria Station and ultimately to Syria.

Shortly after, he tweeted a photograph brandishing an AK-47 in one hand and holding his new-born, his fourth baby, in the other. “What a shoddy security system Britain must have to allow me to breeze through Europe to (IS),” he wrote.

On 23 January, Abu Rumaysah, was designated as a global terrorist by the United States. But how did a man selling bouncy castles at parties go on to become the executioner for the Islamic State?

Here’s what we know so far.

  • 1. The 'New Jihadi John'

    In January 2016, an IS video appeared showing a masked man mocking the then British Prime Minister David Cameron dismissing the impact of the RAF air strikes. It ended with him executing five prisoners accused of spying on the terror outfit. Authorities have now confirmed the masked executioner to be Abu Rumaysah.

    He is believed to have become a senior commander of the IS forces, replacing IS executioner Mohammad Emwazi (or ‘Jihadi John’ as he was called because of his British accent) after he was killed in a drone strike in November 2015. His death was confirmed by an IS propaganda magazine in January 2016, around the same time that Abu Rumayasah began appearing in the terror organisation’s videos. This is also the reason he’s being called ‘New Jihadi John’.

    Abu Rumaysah also played a key role in the Islamic state’s Yazidi sex trade. Nihad Barakat, who was trafficked at the age of 15 managed to escape two years later and revealed the role played by ‘Abu Dhar’ based in Mosul.

    “When I was captured near Kirkuk, they took me to another leader from Mosul. His name was Abu Dhar (Abu Rumaysah or Siddhartha Dhar). He also took Yazidi girls for himself. Every day he would tell me that I had to marry another man. They raped us, they killed our men, they took our babies away from us. The worst thing was the torture in Mosul. We were beaten and raped continuously for two weeks. Girls were taken from their families and raped constantly and then they were handed out to ‘emirs’,” she told Independent.

    On 23 January 2018, the US State Department placed Siddhartha Dhar alias Abu Rumaysah on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) and imposed sanctions on them.

    By this action, the US public and the international community stands notified that he has committed or poses a significant risk of committing terrorist acts. It also includes denying the designated terrorists access to the US financial system.