A man reported to be of Ghanaian heritage is said to be part of the Islamic State (IS) cell that was in charge of kidnappings, detentions and beheading of western hostages.
British publications have identified the man as 32-year old Londoner, Davis Kotey who is of Ghanaian and Greek-Cyproit heritage.
According to the reports, Kotey is part of the cell known as ‘the Beatles’, which included Mohammed Emwazi, also known as Jihadi John. Emwazi was killed in a US drone attack in November 2015.
This cell was responsible for the video taped beheadings of victims including the British aid workers Alan Henning and David Haines, and the US journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, the reports said.
Kotey is said to have grown up in West London in the Greek Orthodox Church, but later converted to Islam as a teenager, his whereabouts, however is currently unknown.
The reports note that another west Londoner, Aine Davis, 31, has also been confirmed as part of the cell. Emwazi, Kotey and Davis, a former drug dealer who went to Syria in 2013, were friends in west London and attended the same mosque.
The British publications cited the Washington Post and Buzzfeed as having identified Kotey earlier on Sunday, citing a US intelligence official. ITV News also named Kotey, as well as confirming that Davis had been part of the terror cell.
One of the publications, The Guardian says it has independently verified the names.
Members of Kotey’s family said in a statement they were “deeply distressed” at the claims and confirmed they had not seen him “for a number of years”, the reports indicated.
There are fears that some Ghanaians have left the country to join IS.
The National Security Co-ordinator, Mr Yaw Donkor, confirmed to the Daily Graphic that two Ghanaians have joined the terrorist group IS.
He said per the records of National Security, Nazir Nortei Alema, a 25-year-old graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), and another person, identified only as Rafiq, had joined the group.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi