27 Feb 2015

How west London became an extremism hotbed

Mohammed Emwazi grew up in Shepherd’s Bush and Queen’s Park, areas of north west London that have had a long and uncomfortable history of radical extremism. Channel 4 News looks back.

(Clockwise from left)

Queens Park: ‘Jihadi John’

Media are now camped outside the former home of Mohammed Emwazi in Queens Park, the area of west London where the 27-year-old computer science graduate intermittently spent much of his youth. Watch Channel 4 News’s report below:

Maida Vale: Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary

The former west London rapper who posted a picture of himself with severed heads in Syria. Previously lived with his mother and five siblings in Maida Vale. Wrongly identified as “Jihadi John” last September. Below is one of the music videos he posted before heading out to Syria:

St John’s Wood: Bilal Berjawi

Born in Lebanon Berjawi lived in St John’s Wood before going to fight in Somalia with al-Shabaab. In 2010, Mr Berjawi’s family in London were told his British citizenship was being revoked. Three years later he was killed in a drone strike in Mogadishu.

Paddington: Choukri Ellekhlifi

The British Moroccan from Paddington, London, committed a spate of robberies in London to fund his trip to Syria. Fought alongside al-Qaeda members and was killed near the city of Aleppo on 11 August 2013. See ITN’s report from last year below:

Portobello Road: Amal el-Wahabi

Became the first British woman to be convicted of terror offences last summer after she was found guilty of arranging for a friend to smuggle 20,000 euros to her Jihadi-fighting husband in Syria. See Channel 4 News’s report on the trial below:

Ladbroke Grove: Mohammed el-Araj

The son of an antiques dealer was born on a British Airways flight and grew up in the UK, living in Ladbroke Grove, west London. He was killed in August 2013 while attempting to ambush Assad forces.

Kensal Green: 21/7 bombers

Muktar Said Ibrahim and Ramzi Mohammed dramatically surrendered by walking on to the balcony of their seventh floor flat in Dalgarno Gardens. Both were jailed for 40 years over conspiracy to bomb London’s transport network on 21 July 2005. Watch Channel 4 News’s Andy Davies on the release of the police video below:

Acton: Abu Qatada

The fiery Islamic cleric often described as Osama bin Laden’s spiritual ambassador in Europe. He was finally deported to Jordan in 2013. Watch Channel 4 News’s report from 2004 on how he was allegedly recruited by MI5 nearly a decade before: