Foley abduction linked to British jihadi kidnapping ring

The British government also charged his older brother Najul for helping Shajul prepare for the abductions and his associate Jubayer Chowdhury for participating in false imprisonment. Charges against those two men were also dropped. Shajul’s younger brother Razul is also believed to have gone to Syria to wage jihad.

The case fell apart because the two Western journalists who had been abducted in Syria in July 2012 and could identify the suspects did not appear to testify at the trial. One of them had testified against Shajul Islam at pre-trial proceedings and said Islam was part of a cell of foreign born extremists in Syria that included 10-15 UK citizens. Islam, through his lawyer, denied being involved in the abductions at the time.

One U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast that both the U.S. and British counter-terrorism agencies have taken a keen interest in the suspected militants. “There is no official product on this yet for the intelligence community,” this official said. “But people who are out there and collecting on this believe the [Foley] abduction and the [Islam] trial are connected.”