Britain’s most wanted female terrorist Sally Jones, nicknamed the White Widow, has reportedly been killed in a drone strike.
The fugitive jihadi, who was once a punk rock singer, was said to have been killed in June in a US strike close to the border between Syria and Iraq.
For more than three years, Jones has been the world’s most wanted female terrorist and is now said to have become one of the list of infamous Britons to die after joining Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
She fled to Syria from Kent in 2013 to marry computer hacker Junaid Hussain, an Isil fighter from Birmingham, and took her then 11-year-old son, Joe “JoJo” Dixon, with her.
A Whitehall source told The Sun: “The Americans zapped her trying to get away from Raqqa. Quite frankly, it’s good riddance.”
CIA officials told their UK counterparts that a US Air Force Predator killed 50-year-old Jones in June, the newspaper reports.
(Isil “entry file” of Junaid Hussain shows he crossed into Syria in July 2013)
The delay in her apparent death emerging is said to have been over fears her son might have also been killed in the strike. It is not known if her son was with her.
US intelligence chiefs said they cannot be 100 per cent certain that the strike killed Jones as there was no attempt to recover any of her DNA.
Jones had been a single mother of two living on benefits when she met her future husband, then 19, online and became besotted with him.
(Junaid Hussain, late husband of Sally Jones)
Hussain told Jones he wanted to leave to join Isil and encouraged her to join him.
Using the pseudonym Umm Hussain al-Britani, Jones is believed to have recruited dozens of women to the terror group by boasting on social media of how wonderful life was in the caliphate.
(Twitter account believed to belong to Sally Jones tweets about decision to put her on the UN sanctions list)
She encouraged followers to carry out attacks against the West while defending Isil’s beheadings and vowing to do the same.
Her partner was killed in a drone strike on his car in August 2015, she then became know as the White Widow.
She was believed to have been living in Raqqa with her son and was in charge of training all European female recruits, or “muhajirat”.
(Sally Jones, left in a burqa holding a gun, and right in a nun’s habit)
She was entrusted with leading the secretive female wing of the Anwar al-Awlaki battalion, a unit founded by her late husband that is composed solely of foreign fighters with the purpose of planning and executing attacks in the West.
A young British boy appeared in an Isil propaganda video last year.
(Sally Jones and her son Joe, aged around seven before they left for Syria)
The smiling blue-eyed child appeared in army fatigues, holding a gun and standing over a kneeling prisoner in an orange jumpsuit before shooting him in the head.
The scene was reminiscent of the Jihadi John executions which took place over the autumn of 2014, except in this case the killer’s face was not masked by a balaclava.
(Sally Jones appears in a selfie before she left for Syria, in a burqa with a gun -top right- and performing in a punk rock band -bottom right-)
“Isil wants another famous Briton to boost their credentials,” the activist said. “Especially after the death of Emwazi.”
Joe’s grandparents are reported to have recognised him in the footage, although there has been no official confirmation of the child’s identity.