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ISIL’s latest video star is believed to be a former bouncy castle salesman

Reuters/Paul Hackett
Published This article is more than 2 years old.

British media outlets believe they have identified the masked man in ISIL’s latest propaganda video as Siddhartha Dhar, a Londoner who used to sell inflatable bouncy castles in Britain before fleeing to Syria.

The BBC reports that an unnamed source investigating the video, which shows the killing of five men that ISIL claims were spies, said multiple people believe the man in the video is Dhar. The identification has not been confirmed, but Reuters reports that Dhar’s sister Konika told British media outlets that the man in the video sounds remarkably like her brother. Robb Leech, a filmmaker who was making a documentary about his stepbrother who faced terrorism charges, told BBC radio that he met Dhar before he joined ISIL, and agreed the man in the video sounds like Dhar.

Dhar is also associated with radical British Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary, who is scheduled to go on trial for terrorism charges next week. Dhar, a Muslim convert, has drawn comparisons to “Jihadi John,” the British Arab ISIL member who beheaded journalist James Foley and others on video.

Dhar was arrested on suspicion of terrorism and left Britain in 2014 while on police bail. In London, the father of four was known as “Sid,”—but within ISIL, he is known as Abu Rumaysah. Leech claims Dhar loved the football club Arsenal and rock band Nirvana.

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