David Cameron orders hunt for Jihadi John

The Brits have apparently seen at least one beheading too many, and David Cameron wants the cretin wielding the knife brought to justice. The Prime Minister has ordered his intelligence chiefs to locate and capture or kill the ISIS new media spokesanimal now known as Jihadi John.

Prime Minister David Cameron has asked his spy chiefs to find Islamic State executioner ‘Jihadi John’ so that he could dispatch special forces to kill or capture the masked man who beheaded the latest British hostage.

The Prime Minister has stepped up the hunt for British aid worker Alan Henning’s murderer, who appears in IS beheading videos and has a British accent.

He summoned the heads of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ — the main British spy agencies — to his Chequers country retreat on Saturday and told them he wanted them to provide him with targets for a special forces raid on the IS kidnappers, The Sunday Times reported.

Apparently, finding – or at least identifying – the killer isn’t the problem here. Credible reports have already surfaced that the FBI knows who he is. In fact, drones have identified his location, as well as that of more prisoners, but moving against him has thus far been considered to be too dangerous.

The Islamic State terrorist known as Jihadi John has been tracked by drones flying over the Syrian city of Raqqa – but British Special Forces chiefs fear a ‘kill or capture’ mission there would end in bloody failure, sources disclosed last night.

Reaper drones deployed high above the terrorists’ strongholds are also believed to have identified hostages wearing orange jumpsuits but top brass are thought to have currently ruled out a rescue operation because IS defences are too strong.

Taking out this star of reality terror TV is a worthwhile goal, providing they aren’t sacrificing too many resources (both in terms of human lives and compromised intelligence sources) to do it. We have a case of someone who has provided clear, video evidence of their capital crimes, so taking him out of action is not only just, but will send the appropriate message. But we shouldn’t confuse that with the idea that such a kill will significantly affect the larger battle. Killing off figureheads provides a feel good moment, but they tend to be quickly replaced. As we’ve discussed here before, even if we managed to kill Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, it won’t be any more successful in eliminating ISIS than taking out bin Laden was in destroying al-Qaeda.

The real goal is to destroy as much of the overall fabric of ISIS as possible and disillusion those of their fighters who might quit the field of battle once it looks like a losing proposition. Also, expending too much effort on getting Jihadi John could detract from the larger battle which seems to have metastasized further this week. As we reported in the headlines this morning, the terrorists have taken control of a major portion of Abu Ghraib, just on the outskirts of Baghdad, so the need for military resources is extensive across a wide area all at once.

But it would still be nice to have this guy’s head on a pike outside 10 Downing Street. Good luck and good hunting, Mr. Cameron.