In the latest UK counter-terror operation, a Daesh sympathizer has been found guilty of planning an attack on the UK Prime Minister's residence and plotting to behead Theresa May.
Naa'imur Zakariyah Rahman, 20, from Finchley in north London is the newest addition to the list of British born or made terrorists. 'Jihadi John,' 'The Beatles,' 'Jihadi Jack,' and 'White Widow' have all been accused, charged and wanted by counter-terror policing. All these attackers have either been born or born and raised in the UK. Rahman hasn't been branded with a nickname yet and might never be but for the others — a common denominator is the titles, generated for them by the mass media or their victims.
Expert on terrorist financing and author Loretta Napoleoni disagrees with the use of nicknames for extremists.
"Nicknames establish a certain degree of intimacy which should not be there at all. Terrorists like the nicknames because it makes them less of a monster to potential recruiters and more intimate with people they would want to recruit. It is giving them the closeness to you that shouldn't be there. You wouldn't give nicknames to the Nazis during World War 2 — these people are our enemies because they want to kill us," Ms. Napoleoni told Sputnik.
A group of four Daesh terrorists dubbed by their hostages 'The Beatles' because of their British accents were responsible for brutal beheadings of foreign nationals in 2014 and 2015. The nickname 'Jihadi Jack' was created by the British media in reference to the first white UK citizen identified as a fighter for Daesh, Oxford-born Jack Letts. Finally, one of the internationally most wanted terror suspects, British woman Samantha Lewthwaite, who is wanted for deaths of hundreds of people, has been dubbed 'White Widow' by news media.
Ms. Napoleoni argued that the media give nicknames to terror-related offenders "because it sells."
"The story of the Beatles and the Jihadi John, that was the story the hostages invented to survive. But then it was sold by the media over and over again to make people read the articles, which is not right," Ms. Napoleoni told Sputnik.
Speaking about ‘White Widow' Samantha Lewthwaite, Ms. Napoleoni added that when it comes to female terrorists, she disagrees with the notion that women are more elusive and less likely to be suspected in terror activity.
"In the United Kingdom there is a very high degree of awareness about jihadism. I would say that a woman tends to be more suspicious if she is wearing a hijab and she is covered head to toe. It is more visible if you think about it," she told Sputnik.
Samantha Lewthwaite was born in northern England and educated in London. The widow of the 7/7 London terrorist bomber Germaine Lindsay, Lewthwaite — according to unconfirmed reports — has been killed in an airstrike.
However, recent claims by British media have suggested she is a live and plans to recruit suicide bombers to target holidaymakers in Europe.
Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh — members of the infamous ‘Beatles' — were stripped of their UK citizenship, as they were accused of torturing and murdering more than 25 foreign hostages that were held by Daesh. The group's leader — Londoon-raised Mohammed Emwazi — was killed in an airstrike in 2015. The fourth member, London-born Aine Davis, was sentenced by the Turkish court to seven-and-a-half years in prison in 2017.
Jack Letts dubbed by UK media 'Jihadi Jack' was captured in Syria by the Kurdish-led YPG group in 2014 fighting against Daesh.
In 2018, the number of arrests by anti-terror officers in the UK has risen by 17 percent. According to the UK Home Office data, 441 arrests were made compared to 378 in the preceding year.
Only in 2017, Britain suffered a number of terror attacks, including the Westminster attack in March, Manchester arena bombing in May, London Bridge and Borough Market attack in June and Parson Green explosion in September.
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