Excellent news, if it is confirmed, that Mohammed Emwazi – aka ‘Jihadi John’ – has discovered the hard way that seventy-two virgins have not been waiting around for him on a cloud.
It is more than a year since David Cameron announced that this country would chase the murderer of British, American and Japanese aid-workers and journalists to the ends of the earth. Unsurprisingly Emwazi just had to be found in Syria. But it is good news that he has been found, not just because justice is served but because it might make other people reflect on the merits of the post-Westminster university career-path that he chose.
I imagine there will be a brief hiatus of complaints but that after that we will be able to hear from all the usual people about the wickedness of drones and all other strategies which risk harming our enemies. We will then also be able to hear from all those who claim that Emwazi was a nice young student until the wicked British security services, with their ‘Islamophobic’ attitudes towards jihadists, turned him into a head-hacker. Indeed I see as I write that the BBC is not just taking their information from, but also helpfully linking readers of the BBC website to, the ‘London-based campaign group Cage’ for further propaganda like this. Most conservative groups would have to fight for years to get such an anodyne description from the BBC. But Cage get it despite being one of the least anodyne groups currently legally operating in the UK.
Anyhow – a good day for drones and a bad day for jihadists.
Join us for a Spectator debate on 18 November at Church House, Westminster – Is the BBC really a national treasure? Speakers include Melvyn Bragg and James Purnell, director of strategy and digital at the BBC. Chaired by Andrew Neil. Click here for more information and to book tickets.