One important episode that further ties Cage UK, the human rights advocacy group, with British jihadis such as Mohammed Emwazi a.k.a ‘Jihadi John’ is what we know of Moazzam Begg’s journey to Syria in the summer of 2012. Moazzam Begg is Cage’s ‘Outreach Director’ and by far its most famous and leading public advocate largely because he endured a cruel and unjust incarceration at both Baghram air base and Guantanamo detention camp only to be freed many years later uncharged.
Not only was Mr. Begg freed uncharged by George W. Bush but also “as a favour to” then British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s support for the invasion and destruction of Iraq. Needless to say if Blair had not joined Bush’s Iraq invasion Mr.Begg may well and truly be still incarcerated especially as the Pentagon, CIA and FBI objected to his release. On the back of the destruction of Iraq, Blair got one his compatriots freed.
On the other hand, Emwazi had been known to the security authorities for several years, even placed on watch list, but still seemed to have found a way to join the western backed uprising against Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria. According to the Defence Editor of the London Times, Deborah Hayes, Emwazi entered Syria in late 2012 or early 2013 and then specifically joined Katiba al-Muhajireen “a 700-strong brigade of foreign fighters thought to have included up to 80 Britons.” Continue reading