Spanish police on Tuesday arrested former British rapper turned Islamic State group militant Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, one of the most wanted terrorists in Europe, in a counterterrorism swoop.
British and other sources confirmed his identity a few hours after the national police agency in Madrid said it had arrested an Egyptian and two other men in an apartment in the southern city of Almeria.
From Maida Vale in London, Bary had been a British-Egyptian national, but he was stripped of his British citizenship because of his links to the Islamic State group.
Photo: EPA-EFE / Spanish National Police
Once considered a notorious figure, he had disappeared from view.
One source said that he had been arrested shortly after entering Spain from Algeria, but that could not immediately be confirmed.
A video posted by Spanish police showed three men being led away from an apartment with their faces covered.
A police statement described one of the men arrested as among the most wanted Islamic State fighters in Europe.
Bary, 29, is the son of Adel Abdel Bary, who was convicted of the US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 213 people.
Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary was a vocal supporter of the Islamic State group from 2013 to 2015.
In that time he posed with a severed head and frequently menaced the West in posts on social media.
There was speculation at the time that he could be the hooded militant nicknamed “Jihadi John,” who beheaded a number of Western hostages in videos. That person was later revealed to be Mohammed Emwazi.
Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary knew Emwazi — and four other men branded by their captors as “The Beatles” — through west London Islamic circles, but he is not thought to have worked closely with them in Syria.
Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary disappeared for years, leading to speculation that he had been killed as the group’s so-called caliphate began to crumble in late 2015. Turkish police said that they lost track of him by late 2015.
Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary is thought to have had a Spanish girlfriend whom he met online sometime in 2017. By then he is believed to have resumed an online presence using numerous aliases.
During a brief career as a rapper in London he was known as Lyricist Jinn and L Jinny, and he performed with a group called the Black Triangle.
After immersing himself in his faith, he denounced his former life and friends, leaving his family and five siblings for the Islamic State stronghold of al-Raqqah, Syria, in July 2013.
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