Pistol clue ties London father of four to Jihadi John


More about this charming specimen from the Sunday Times and the Mail on Sunday

A FATHER of four from east London is suspected by western security services of being a right-hand man to the British member of Isis known as Jihadi John.
Nero Saraiva, 28, is thought have risen in the ranks to become one of ISIS’s most senior fighters and has been posting images of firearms similar to those used by Jihadi John on social media. 

Saraiva is one of five young men from east London who all moved from their native Portugal to London, where they converted to Islam before adopting extremist views and travelling to Syria to join the terrorist network’s ranks. Saravia, a father-of-four has posted several images of weapons on his Twitter, including a Glock 19 pistol with an extended magazine, similar to that carried by Jihadi John, the Sunday Times reports.

Ringleader Saraiva, a former engineering student was the first of the group to travel to Syria in the summer of 2012. The former engineering student, who moved to Britain from Portugal more than a decade ago, also seems to be privy to advance information about the beheading of hostages by Isis.  Saraiva was raised as a Catholic before converting to Islam in the UK and has relied on a Christian preacher in London to keep in touch with one of his young children.

Saraiva is believed to have three or four children in Syria by jihadist brides, including an Australian. He has a five-year-old son in the UK, who he has never supported financially On Twitter last year Saraiva asked one of his friends in Britain, an evangelical Christian preacher: “Do u have any pictures of my son?” In return he posted an image of himself in Syria — saluting Allah with his index finger while wearing a T-shirt from a home counties plumbing firm — for his estranged child to view.

Last year his name was linked to an alleged terrorist plot in east Africa involving al-Qaeda affiliate group al-Shabaab.

In July 2014 – 39 days before James Foley became the first Western hostage to be murdered – he posted a message on Twitter indicating he had advance knowledge of the American journalist’s grisly fate. Saraiva tweeted: ‘Message to America, the Islamic State is making a new movie. Thank u for the actors.’

This weekend it emerged that hours before Saraiva posted his prescient tweet, he sent a cryptic warning to The Guardian’s website. Signing on to the site with his real name, Saraiva responded to an article about Iraq with the comment: “America [h]as run out of options. Anyway, the Islamic State will sort them out, don’t worry.”

The postings have led intelligence officials to conclude that Saraiva and up to four other Portuguese immigrant jihadists from east London may be involved in the production and distribution of Isis videos showing the beheadings of western hostages in Syria. “He has an important position, influential inside the organisation, and is not just a foot soldier who went to fight and die in Syria,” said one security source.

A former Isis hostage — one of the few westerners to be freed alive — believes he saw Saraiva at a police and judicial building used by the terrorist group in the northern Syrian town of Manbij last summer.  Ahmad Walid Rashidi, a Danish charity worker who was captured while trying to rescue twin jihadist sisters from Manchester, said: “He had a gun at the office.” 

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