Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, a 23-year-old British rapper who reportedly walked out of his family's £1 million home in Maida Vale, West London, last year to join militants in Syria after telling them he was "leaving everything for the sake of Allah," is being investigated as a key suspect in the beheading of journalist James Foley.
A senior western intelligence official who was not identified told Fox News that Bary is being eyed as Foley's executioner. The report noted that the Sunday Times and Sunday People listed Bary as a member of a group of at least three British-born ISIS fighters that former hostages call "The Beatles."
The Sunday Times said Britain's two major intelligence agencies, MI5 and MI6, had identified the man who beheaded Foley but had not publicly revealed this information.
U.S. intelligence officials did not comment publicly on the reports, but a well-placed source informed Fox News that Bary's father, who was born in Egypt, was extradited from London to the U.S. in 2012 for allegedly being connected to Osama Bin Laden, as well as the U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa in 1998.
A Mail Online report highlighted in March that Bary had grown increasingly radical after connecting with thugs linked to British Muslim, and social and political activist Anjem Choudary. He reportedly posted a series of photographs online featuring himself armed with guns and wearing masks under the heading "soldier of Allah."
On July 1, 2013, he reportedly announced that he was giving up his musical aspirations for Islam. "I have left everything for the sake of Allah" he said, according to Mail Online.
Shortly after that declaration, Bary travelled to Syria where he joined a longtime friend who had already been fighting with ISIS.
"Oh Allah, grant us martyrdom" he reportedly said last November while praising Osama Bin Laden and calling him a "lion."
Last Tuesday ISIS released a graphic video of Foley's gruesome beheading where he read from an apparent script before he died.
"I wish I could have the hope of freedom and seeing my family once again, but that ship has sailed," said Foley shortly before he was killed. "I guess, all in all, I wish I wasn't American."
Since Foley's beheading there has been a raging debate over the U.S. government's ransom policy as it relates to American captives. As a rule, the U.S. does not pay ransom to terrorist groups.
A New York Times investigation noted that al Qaeda and its direct affiliates received at least $125 million in revenue from kidnappings since 2008, mostly from European governments. The organization received $66 million in the last year alone.
Investigative reporter David Rohde, who was once abducted, highlighted that debate in a recent Reuters report pointing out the divergent policies on ransom between the U.S. and Europe.
"The payment of ransoms and abduction of foreigners must emerge from the shadows. It must be publicly debated. American and European policymakers should be forced to answer for their actions," said Rohde.
"Foley believed that his government would help him, according to his family. In a message that was not made public, Foley said that he believed so strongly that Washington would help that he refused to allow his fellow American captives to not believe in their government," noted Rohde.
"A consistent response to kidnapping by the U.S. and Europe is desperately needed. The current haphazard approach is failing. James Foley must not die in vain," he ended.