The father of Mohammed Emwazi, otherwise known as "Jihadi John," called his son “an animal" and "a terrorist,” adding that he had asked for his parents' blessing before joining the Islamic State, the Daily Telegraph reports.
When Mohammed told his father he was going to Syria “for jihad” in 2013, Jassem Emwazi, 51, told him he hoped he would die before he arrived.
But Mohammed did not die. Instead, he became "Jihadi John," the Islamic State's hooded executioner responsible for the filmed beheadings of at least seven British, American and Japanese hostages.
Since the identity of "Jihadi John" was released in the international media, Jassem has not reported for work as a storekeeper at a cooperative supermarket warehouse about 12 miles from Kuwait’s border with Iraq.
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Jassem called his colleague, Abu Meshaal, on March 2 to explain why.
Abu Meshaal, 40, told the Daily Telegraph Jassem was in tears during the conversation, and said the situation is a “catastrophe” for his family.
“He was very emotional and crying the whole time,” Abu Meshaal said. “He said, ‘my son is a dog, he is an animal, a terrorist.’ He said he had talked to him a lot trying to persuade him to return to his personal life but that the son didn’t listen to him. He said, ‘To hell with my son.’”
Jassem explained to Abu Meshaal that he condemned his son during a phone call in 2013 from Turkey, in which Mohammed asked for his blessing for a trip to Syria to fight as a jihadist.
“Mohammed called his father and said ‘I’m going to Syria to fight jihad, please release me and forgive me for everything,'” Abu Meshaal said. “Jassem said, ‘f*** you. I hope you die before you arrive in Syria.’”
Jassem, who was interrogated by Kuwait investigators on March 1, said he felt so ashamed of his son that he did not want to leave the house for work or to even pray at the mosque.
“He said he cannot come back to work because he felt so shy of other people,” Abu Meshaal continued. “He is sitting home and cannot even go to the mosque to pray because he is ashamed of his son.
"He doesn’t want people to see him, so he is praying at home.”
Bosses at the Kuwaiti co-op are not holding Jassem responsible for his son’s actions, the Daily Telegraph reports. They told him he is free to return to work.
Kuwaiti authorities also had no objections to letting Jassem continue working with the co-op, where he has been employed for the last two years.
Abu Meshaal described Jassem as a “respectable and polite” man who got along well with his co-workers.
Jassem’s wife, Ghania, is believed to be living in London. Jassem lives in Kuwait with his sister, mother and his daughter, Asma.