Mohammed Emwazi’s former neighbours reeling in shock
- Credit: Archant
Fundamentalist killer Mohammed Emwazi has left the Queen’s Park community he used to call home reeling in shock.
The computer programming graduate lived on the Mozart Estate, and went to school and university locally.
The 26-year-old former University of Westminster student, who moved to the UK from Kuwait at the age of six, is believed to have travelled to Syria in 2012 and later joined ISIS.
Last week the Mozart Estate was thrust into the global spotlight when Emwazi was unmasked as the brutal terrorist who was apparently filmed murdering several hostages on behalf of radical group Islamic State.
The videos, which have attracted worldwide attention, show a hooded man carrying out beheadings, and addressing the camera, speaking with an English accent.
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Among Emwazi’s alleged victims are British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, and American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.
Neighbours spoke of their shock and surprise that such an extremist, whose parents they described as “nice” and “ordinary”, could have lived among them in the estate’s Leeve House in Lancefield Street.
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Abdul Miah, 43, who lives around corner from Emwazi’s family, said: “I know the mum and dad, they’re a nice family.
“There are so many TV cameras here, nothing like this has ever happened here before.”
Brenda Powell, 71, who lives in Lancefield Street, said: “I’m very shocked, because it’s a nice area. We want to live a peaceful life around here, we don’t want these kinds of things.
“We don’t normally have things like this; youngsters fight, but not this kind of stuff. Well, he won’t come back so we’re all right.”
Emwazi’s parents, who according to the BBC now live in Kuwait, are said to have told the authorities there that they last spoke to their son in 2013 when he called them from Turkey and said he was traveling to Syria to carry out humanitarian work.
His family are reportedly being housed in a secret location in the Middle Eastern country, and Mr Emwazi senior has been questioned at length by the Kuwaiti authorities.
Mr Emwazi’s lawyer told the BBC that his client was in a “state of shock” after being questioned for several hours before being released without being named a suspect.
Mohammed Emwazi’s mother has reportedly told Kuwaiti officials she immediately recognised her son’s voice when she heard him on a hostage video.
But Jassem Emwazi told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas there was no proof his son was the notorious executioner and claimed there were a number of “false rumours” circulating.
His lawyer, Salem al-Hashash, he said he would take legal action against those who made accusations against him and his family.