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Report: Foley's executioner may be British 'hip-hop jihadist'

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U.K. intelligence agencies may have identified the man responsible for beheading American journalist James Foley in a gruesome video released last week, according to British media reports.

The Sunday Times and other outlets are pointing the finger at a British national named Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, aka L Jinny.

Bary, sometimes called Britain's "hip-hop jihadist," has a handful of rap videos on YouTube. He even managed to get one song on the U.K.'s popular BBC Radio 1 station. 

But last year, he reportedly left his affluent family home in west London to join the Sunni militant group ISIS in Syria.

​Since then, he has been a subject of fascination for the British media with stories following his Syrian exploits appearing in The Sun and the Daily Mail.

The Mail put up a story earlier this month showing a man identified as Bary posing with a severed head in Syria. Late last December, the Mail posted another photo apparently showing him holding an assault rifle.

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No officials have come forward to say Bary is definitely the man responsible, but the British press has put together its own case.

The Independent  is one of several outlets to point out Bary's father, Adel Abdel Bary, was extradited to the U.S. from the U.K. in 2012 for his alleged role in the bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

And  the Daily  MIrror  echoed a common rumor about Bary: that he was radicalized by an Islamist preacher in the U.K. named Anjem Choudary. (Video via YouTube / anjemchoudary)

Peter Westmacott, the British ambassador to the U.S., appeared on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday to comment on the media's speculation.

"I see that the British media this morning are speculating that we are very close to identifying who this guy is. ... I think we're not far away from that; we're putting a lot into that."

There are two other British citizens under investigation for Foley's slaying — one a former drug dealer and the other a brother of a British national charged with kidnapping a British journalist in Syria.

This video contains images from Getty Images.

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