New Jihadi John suspect ‘skipped bail over terror offences’ and declared Isil support on the BBC

From the Telegraph

The key suspect in the hunt for the new ‘Jihadi John’ was able to travel to Syria with his wife and four children under the noses of the security services, despite being on bail for alleged terrorism offences, it has emerged.

The family of British Muslim convert, Siddhartha Dhar, last night admitted that the killer seen shooting a prisoner in the head in the latest Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) video, could be the 32-year-old former bouncy castle salesman from east London. 

Both his mother and sister said they had watched the video, released by Isil on Sunday, and noticed similarities between the voice of the masked Jihadi and Dhar.

Dhar, who is also known as Abu Rumasayah, was arrested in September 2014 alongside the preacher Anjem Choudary on suspicion of belonging to the banned group Al-Muhajiroun.

Choudary will appear in court on suspicion of terror offences next week, but Dhar will not be in the dock alongside him after fleeing Britain.

Just hours after being granted police bail, Dhar caught a bus to Paris with his family and then travelled on to Syria where he joined Isil. . . Voice recognition experts working for the security services were last night understood to be urgently scrutinising the Isil video amid the suggestion that the Islamist’s voice matched that of Dhar. 

Meanwhile, footage has emerged showing Dhar speaking positively about Isil and its role in the world on the BBC’s Sunday Morning Live in 2014.

Speaking during the programme, which debated why British Muslims were joining the Islamic State, Dhar said: “For 90 years we have been without a caliphate and many of the rules within the Koran cannot be implemented. So now that we have this caliphate, I think you [will] see many Muslims globally seeing it as an opportunity for the Koran to be fully realised”.

After appearing on the programme, Dhar fled Britain for Syria in September 2014 after he was arrested on suspicion of belonging to the banned group Al-Muhajiroun.

If Dhar’s identity in the terrorist outrage is confirmed it will lead to uncomfortable questions for the security services, who allowed him to leave the country just hours after the police granted him bail. 

Dhar, who was brought up a Hindu, ran a firm hiring out bouncy castles, before marrying his Muslim wife Aisha and becoming radicalised.

Former neighbours in Walthamstow, east London, claimed Dhar’s wife was more devout than him and suggested she may have put him on the path to extremism.

In the months leading up to his arrest Dhar was accused of burning poppies and calling for the imposition of Sharia law in Britain. He was a key member of al-Muhajiroun and offshoot groups such as the Shariah Project, masterminding ‘roadshows’ in London that aimed to recruit troubled youngsters to Islam. 

In one interview around that time he said: “We believe that whenever the sharia is established, the pure Islamic state maybe in Iraq or Syria, one day the leader will wage jihad and annexe Britain into the Islamic state. We are not going to forget Europe, we are not going to forget Britain, the armies will be sent here to conquer these lands.”

One former neighbour in east London, who asked not to be named, said: “He refused to talk to me – he was quite rude. He converted to marry her – it was her family that were more hardcore.” 

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