• October 23, 2017
    Last updated 2 minutes ago

uk

Britain declines to comment on reported death of ‘white widow’

Reports had said British militant was killed by US drone

Agencies
18:07 October 12, 2017

LONDON: Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman refused on Thursday to comment on a newspaper report that a British jihadi who recruited for Daesh has been killed in Syria by a US drone.

“I’ve seen the reports, I don’t have any comments to make in relation to this specific case,” the spokesman said. He repeated government advice warning against all travel to Syria.

Earlier on Thursday, the Sun newspaper reported that Sally Jones has been killed in Syria by a US drone along with her 12-year-old son.

A convert to Islam from southern England, Jones was nicknamed the “White Widow” by the British press after her militant husband Junaid Hussain, also an IS militant, was killed by a drone in 2015.

Quoting a British intelligence source who had been briefed by US counterparts, The Sun reported that Jones and her son had been killed in June close to Syria’s border with Iraq, as she was attempting to flee the Daesh stronghold of Raqqa.

US intelligence chiefs were quoted as saying they could not be 100 per cent certain that Jones had been killed as there was no way of recovering any DNA from the ground, but they were “confident” she was dead.

Her son JoJo was presumed to be dead too, although his presence with her was not known at the time of the drone strike and he was not an intended target, according to The Sun.

Other Daesh militants have been reported dead only to reappear.

Jones, who before her jihadi days was once a singer in a punk band, has been the subject of years of fascination by the British press.

She was believed to have left her home in Chatham, in the southern county of Kent, in 2013 to travel to Syria, where she married Hussain whom she had met online.

She was active as an online recruiter and sometimes posted propaganda messages on social media, including a striking photograph of herself dressed as a nun pointing a gun towards the camera.