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IS Militant Was A Londoner, Voice Expert Tells LBC

Wednesday 20th August 2014

A voice expert has told LBC that the IS militant who beheaded a US journalist is probably from London.

james foley

The video footage appeared to show a masked man, speaking in English with an English accent, killing James Foley, who was seized by armed men in Syria in November 2012.

Claire Hardaker, a lecturer in Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University, studied the clip and told Nick Ferrari his southern vowels would place him in the south.

She said: "We seem to have definitely southern vowels and some interesting pronunciations - he says Muslims in quite an interesting way. You say Muzz-lim with a Z sound, but he says Muss-lim with an unvoiced S.

"We're definitely looking at a British accent, from the south and probably from London." 

philip hammond

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told LBC attempts are being made to identify the IS militant.

He said: "It's been widely reported that he has a British accent and obviously we will be checking into what information we have which might lead to us being able to identify him.

"But I can't absolutely confirm that he's British."

Mr Hammond said the incident showed the appalling brutality of IS, adding: "These people are fanatics with an absolutely abhorrent ideology and a cruelty which we've seldom seen anywhere else in the way they've carried out their actions.

"We have to resist them, we have to push back against them by all means available.

"That means by making the arguments against their abhorrent ideology, by pushing back militarily against them in Iraq, supporting the Iraqi and Kurdish security forces who are actually doing a good job now in containing ISIL's advance.

"And by using our very high calibre intelligence agencies and surveillance capabilities to find out what these people are doing, to monitor what they are doing and to seek to intercept, to disrupt, to undermine and to deal with them at every available opportunity."

Mr Hammond however insisted that the involvement of a man with a British accent will not change increase our own military action.

He added: "We've made clear we don't see a need for British combat boots on the ground in Iraq and nobody is asking us for that. What they are asking for is technical support, advice, material, arms and supplies, surveillance, intelligence.

"We will offer all of these things where we can to help the international effort to contain and then stamp out this evil organisation."