Erik Thomas, a professor of acoustics and dialects at North Carolina State University, said the jihadist in the video clearly spent a significant amount of his childhood in the United States.
The professor of linguistics cited the man’s pronunciation of a sound “G”, when he said “chopping off” and “fighting us”, as well as his pronunciation of the letter “O” in “Rome” that sounded distinctly American.
Right now, US officials are conducting a detailed analysis of the man in the video. One thing is clear — regardless of whether the man is an American citizen or he simply spent a significant amount of time in the country, he certainly had close ties to the United States at some point in his life.
A large group of Western jihadists have been fighting on the side of the Islamic State. In previous ISIL beheading videos, a masked man with a distinct British accent murdered Western journalists and aid workers. Just last week, Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security Michael McCaul said that up to 150 American citizens have traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State.