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Brits among most 'vicious and vociferous IS fighters'

British extremists are among the "most vicious and vociferous fighters" in the Islamic State, a jihadism expert said.

Britons are now taking part in conflicts "in every way" including acting as suicide bombers and executioners, Shiraz Maher, from King's College London's International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, said.

"Unfortunately the British participation in the conflicts now raging in both Syria and Iraq has been has been one of full participation, one that has seen them at the front lines, taking part in the conflict in every way," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"So we have seen British fighters out there operating as suicide bombers, we have seen them operating as executioners.

"Unfortunately they are amongst some of the most vicious and vociferous fighters who are out there. That is unfortunately just a part of their radicalisation."

Beheading video 'appalling example of IS brutality'

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has described a video showing the apparent beheading of a US journalist by an Islamic State fighter as "an appalling example of the brutality of this organisation".

Mr Hammond said the video's "hallmarks point to it being genuine", and acknowledged that the fighter who killed James Foley appeared to have a British accent.

PA Wire
Philip Hammond said the video appeared to be genuine. Credit: PA Wire

"Certainly at first pass that's what it looks like and we will obviously want to investigate that further," Mr Hammond told the BBC.

"We have been saying for a long time that there are a significant number of British nationals in Syria and Iraq operating with extremist organisations.

"That's one of the reasons why this organisation represents such a direct threat to the UK's national security.

"Many of these people may seek at some point to return to the UK and they would then pose a direct threat to our domestic security."


Second US journalist threatened in 'beheading video'

A second journalist is seen at the end of a video appearing to show the beheading of James Foley by Islamic State militants.

The US reporter, Steven Joel Sotloff, who went missing near the border of Syria and Turkey last year, is threatened at the end of the footage as he kneels in an orange jumpsuit.

The Islamic State fighter, speaking with a British accent, says Sotloff's life depends on President Obama's "next decision".

Sotloff had written for TIME, The National Interest and Media Line before his disappearance in August 2013.

Foley 'loved reporting and exposing untold stories'

James Foley, who is believed to have been killed by an Islamic State fighter, previously spoke of his love of reporting and exposing untold stories.

  • The 40-year-old, from New Hampshire, has been missing since his car was stopped in Syria in November 2012
  • Foley was working for Agence-France Press and GlobalPost at the time
  • He was held captive in Libya in 2011 but was released
  • The reporter previously told the BBC that he was "drawn to the drama of the conflict and trying to expose untold stories"

Islamic State killer appeared to have 'British accent'

An Islamic State fighter who has claimed to have killed an American journalist appeared to be speaking with a British accent.

Facebook/Jonathan Pedneault
James Foley has been missing since 2012. Credit: Facebook/Jonathan Pedneault

In the five-minute video entitled "A message to America", a man believed to be James Foley is seen kneeling in an unknown location as a masked IS militant stands by his side.

The fighter, holding a knife, says the killing is a response to US air strikes in Iraq, warning of further attacks against Americans if there is further action in the country.

The victim also made a statement during the video, saying he wanted to ask his friends, family and loved ones to "rise up against my real killers, the US government".


Violence begins to escalate again in Missouri

Bottles were thrown at police as unrest begins to escalate in Ferguson, Missouri more than a week after the police shooting of an unarmed teenager. USA Today Reporter Yamiche Alcindor, who is at the scene, said that officers had begun "spraying mace at protesters".


Police just sprayed what looked like mace at protesters


Police have order reporters back to the "media area" but many cameras remain

Ferguson officers 'did not reciprocate heavy fire'

Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol answers media questions
Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol answers media questions Credit: Reuters

State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, placed in command of security in Ferguson last week after local police tactics that were criticised as overly harsh, said officers had come under "heavy gunfire" on Monday night but did not return it.

The predominantly African-American community of 21,000 people has been gripped by street protests punctuated by looting and clashes with police every night since the unarmed, 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer.

"Our innocent people need for a moment to go into their homes and not allow this criminal element to hide behind them," Johnson told reporters.

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