NEW YORK —A man who has been seen in videos carrying out beheadings has been identified by the U.S. as Indian-origin British Siddhartha Dhar, the Islamic State's executioner in Syria.
Announcing his designation as a global terrorist Jan. 23, the State Department said that Dhar "is believed to be the masked leader who appeared in a January 2016 the IS video of the execution of several prisoners" who were accused by IS of spying for Britain.
He replaced the feared IS executioner known as "Jihadi John," who appeared in several videos beheading his victims, the department said. His name was Mohammad Emwazi and he had also lived in Britain. He was killed in 2015 in a U.S.-British drone strike while in the Syrian city of Raqqa, then under the IS control.
Dhar posed a terrorist threat to U.S. citizens and interests and any property he may have in the U.S. is frozen and Americans are banned from dealing with him or his assets, the department said.
Before leaving for Syria to join the IS in 2014, Dhar had been a member of a British terrorist organization, Al-Muhajiroun, according to the department.
The U.S. was the targeted of another Indian-origin man from Britain, Dhiren Barot, who was linked to Al Qaeda. He was convicted in 2006 by a British court of plotting to bomb the New York Stock Exchange.
Known also as Abu Musa al-Hindi and Abu Eissa al-Hindi, Barot was born in Gujarat and his family emigrated to Britain, where he grew up. He visited the U.S. on a student visa and checked out potential sites, according to authorities.
A convert to Islam, he had travelled to Pakistan and fought against India in Kashmir, which he later recounted in a book.
The U.S. tried to extradite an Indian-origin British man, Haroon Aswat, for allegedly trying to set up terrorist training camp in Oregon. But in 2013 the European human rights court blocked his extradition saying it could violate his rights.