Mark Steyn had a post yesterday on the beheading of James Foley by a Muslim born in England with the title American Decapitated by Englishman. Steyn is joking about him being an Englishman, but the authors of the Telegraph article below aren't.
'British' jihadist who beheaded journalist is Londoner called John
By Gordon Rayner, and Martin Evans
10:04PM BST 20 Aug 2014
The jihadist who beheaded the American journalist James Foley is believed to be British born militant from London who calls himself John, it can be revealed.
Intelligence agents in the UK and United States are urgently looking into reports that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) fighter, whose brutal actions shocked the world, is the ringleader of group of British jihadists who have specialised in hostage taking.
Based in the Isil stronghold of Raqqa in Syria, ‘John’, is described as a well-educated, intelligent, but highly committed member of the extremist terror group.
Operating closely with two other British born militants, the group have been dubbed ‘The Beatles’, by fellow jihadists because of their nationality.
Further down we take a look at the profile of some of the Britons who have travelled to Syria and Iraq to take up arms
It's the expression "Britons" in this context that's most notable.
Eleven years ago, I wrote a post called "Glory in the Name Of Briton" about the same phenomenon, saying
I have long been fascinated when these guys are referred to as British, or Britons – or for that matter, when Zacarias Moussaoui is referred to as a Frenchman.
That's assimilation for you.
Here are some of the unassimilated "Britons" profiled by the Telegraph, none of them actually British:
Abu Abdullah al-Britani (left, wearing mask)
The name al-Britani is pseudonym meaning "the Briton"—like the mask, it's meant to provide him with the option of returning home and blending into actual British society as if nothing had happened.
Muhammad Hamideer Rahman
Salma and Zahra Halane
Nasser and Aseel Muthana
This last fellow isn't British either, but he's slightly different from the others, in that he may have some British ancestors.
Aine Daviss of mixed white and Jamaican ancestry, like "shoe bomber" Richard Reid:
Born and brought up in Hammersmith, west London, Davis was a drug dealer and gang member who converted to Islam and was further radicalised during a spell in prison.
See I see Richard Reids in jail every day, By Dr Theodore Dalrymple, December 30, 2001 for both Reid's ancestry, and the radicalizing effects of Muslim propaganda on prisoners.
Here's my conclusion from 2003:
I don't think the young man who blew himself to bits in the doorway of Mike's Place in Tel Aviv would have gloried in the name of Briton.
I think he would have said that. despite being born in Derby, he had a higher loyalty to the Islamic world.