Ahmed Muthana isn’t sure if that’s his son, Nasser, in the new propaganda video released this weekend by Islamic State (ISIS).
“I am trying not to believe it is my boy,” he said, “but it looks like him.”
Regardless, the 57-year-old Briton says he would not welcome his son back into his Cardiff home.
The video, which had been on YouTube for an hour on Saturday, shows 16 camouflage-clad ISIS militants behead 17 Syrian soldiers, and shows also the decapitated head of 26-year-old American aid worker, Peter Kassig.
British officials are still investigating whether or not the man who appears to the left of “Jihadi John”—the infamous Briton who has been filmed executing several Westerners, including American journalist, James Foley—is, in fact, Nasser Muthana. The UK-based Daily Mail quoted Ahmed lamenting that “it looks like my son.”
Nasser Muthana, the 20-year-old former British medical student, secretly fled his native Wales to join ISIS fighters nearly a year ago. In February, his brother, Aseel, disappeared and is thought to have followed his Nasser's example. When Nasser appeared a few months later in an ISIS propaganda video, along with another Cardiff man, urging western Muslims to join the fight in Syria, Ahmed told the Guardian that it felt like a bomb had hit his home, “as if the ground under my feet has disappeared.”
While he remains unsure how two of his sons were “got at”—convinced to “betray” their native United Kingdom—he is steadfast in his disavowal of Nasser. “He must be mentally ill,” he is reported to have stated. “Either that, or there is something else not right.”
Regardless of whether it is proven to be Nasser in the beheading video, his participation in ISIS, confirmed by the June video, is a grave disappointment to Muthana, who has lived in Wales since he was orphaned at age 13. “[Nasser] was born here in the hospital down the road. He has been educated here. He has betrayed Great Britain.”