Sally Jones

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Sally-Anne Frances Jones (17 November 1968 – c. June 2017),[1] also known as Umm Hussain al-Britani,[2] or also known as Sakinah Hussein and the White Widow[3] was a British-born terrorist and UN-designated recruiter and propagandist for the Islamic State (ISIS).[4] She is believed to have been killed in June 2017, but this remains unconfirmed.[5]

Early life[edit]

Jones was born in Greenwich, south-east London. Her parents divorced when she was a young child; her father took his own life when she was ten. Brought up as a Catholic, she participated in Christian youth groups while a teenager, leaving school at 16 and entering employment working for L’Oréal selling cosmetics.[6] A former punk rock guitarist and singer in a female band active in the 1990s called Krunch,[7] Before her departure for Syria, Jones is reported to have been living on welfare benefits (which she denied) in a council house in Chatham, Kent and to have used a food bank. Spending much time on the internet, she became interested in witchcraft and alternative life-styles.[8][9]

ISIS[edit]

Jones converted to Islam and left her previous partner[1] claiming, in social media exchanges with Sunday Times journalist Dipesh Gadher, that the Iraq War had converted her (around May 2013), to the ISIS cause.[8] Together with Junaid Hussain, she was a participant in a group of ISIS computer hackers known as "TeaMp0isoN". Jones travelled to Syria with her younger son in late 2013 to join Hussain, originally from Birmingham, who soon became her husband.[1][8]

Hussain was killed by a U.S. drone strike on 25 August 2015,[10][11] and was formerly in charge of recruiting new hackers to ISIS. After Hussain's death, Jones commented that her husband was killed by "the greatest enemy of Allah".[12] He was "a good role model for my children", Jones told Dipesh Gadher.[13] The following month, Jones was one of four Britons placed on the UN's most wanted list at the request of the British prime minister David Cameron. It was, believed to be the first time any country had placed its own nationals on a list of ISIS operatives. Responding on twitter, Jones said she would continue to fight "England...until my last breath".[14]

Jones's activity online fell in line with her role as leader of the secret Anwar al-Awlaki battalion’s female wing. In this role, Jones was responsible for training all European female recruits, or muhajirat, in the use of weapons and tactics. These muhajirat were then trained and instructed to carry out suicide missions in the West, according to leaked ISIS documents.[15] Despite some reports, according to Kim Sengupta in The Independent, there is no proof of her leading all-female groups of ISIS members into battle.[3]

According to the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), Jones used Twitter to propagandise for ISIS.[16] She is believed to have recruited hundreds of British women to work for ISIS, and in 2016 called on female sympathisers in Britain to make terrorist strikes in London, Glasgow, and Wales during Ramadan.[7] American court documents made available in spring 2017 linked Jones and her husband to at least a dozen ISIS plots, but many of these either did not take place or were stopped. She was involved in publishing online three lists of US military personnel intended as potential targets for jihadists. By this time, the American military reportedly considered her a "high priority" for assassination.[17]

In October 2017, it was reported that Jones had been killed in an American drone strike in June 2017, along with her 12 year old son JoJo, having last been seen fleeing from a drone strike in Raqqa, but this has not been fully confirmed.[5] According to Shiraz Maher, Jones is the first woman to be directly targeted in an airstrike, and one of only two women considered at the time by the American state department as a foreign terrorist combatant.[7]

Jones had decided to raise her younger son, JoJo, as an ISIS child warrior.[18] Her former partner in August 2016 said their son had participated in a video in which JoJo, along with four other boys, had shot five Kurdish hostages in the back of the head.[19] Jones issued a statement saying it was not her son.[3] The legal case for JoJo's and his mother's killing is contested because his young age still means he would be classified as a "non-combatant".[20][21] According to guidance from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Jones may not be considered a member of ISIS (she would be a legitimate target if she was), because she did not carry out a "continuous combat function".[22] Amnesty International said the killing of Jones and her son was of "questionable legality".[21]

An older son, aged 20, who remained in the UK, survives her.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Hamilton, Fiona; Johnston, Neil (12 October 2017). "Punk rocker Sally Jones vowed to fight England until her last breath". -The Times. Retrieved 12 October 2017.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ Ensor, Josie (11 September 2016). "Revealed: Isil bride Sally Jones's role in training female recruits for attacks on West". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 October 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c Sengupta, Kim (12 October 2017). "Sally Jones: How did a woman from Kent join Isis and became the 'White Widow'?". The Independent. Retrieved 14 October 2017. 
  4. ^ "Sally Jones". Counter Extremism Project. Archived from the original on 2016-10-18. 
  5. ^ a b MacAskill, Ewan (12 October 2017). "British Isis member Sally Jones 'killed in airstrike with 12-year-old son'". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 October 2017. 
  6. ^ Humphries, Will (13 October 2017). "Sally Jones profile: How online love affair turned single mother into a fanatic". The Times. Retrieved 13 October 2017.  (subscription required)
  7. ^ a b c Weaver, Matthew (12 October 2017). "Sally Jones: UK punk singer who became leading Isis recruiter". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 October 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c Gadher, Dipesh (7 September 2014). "Sally Jones: 'My son and I love life with the beheaders'". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 15 October 2017.  (subscription required)
  9. ^ Gadher, Dipesh (15 August 2015). "Jihadist Sally lived on church aid". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 14 October 2017.  (subscription required)
  10. ^ https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/615305/iraq-progresses-in-isil-fight-key-extremist-confirmed-dead/
  11. ^ James Cartledge (16 September 2015). "Isis terrorist Junaid Hussain killed in drone attack after boffins 'crack group's code'". Archived from the original on 7 January 2016. 
  12. ^ "Widow of British jihadist 'proud' he was killed by US". The Daily Telegraph. 15 September 2015. Archived from the original on 19 November 2016. 
  13. ^ Gadher, Dipesh (15 October 2017). "My pillow talk with Jihadi Sally". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 15 October 2017.  (subscription required)
  14. ^ Riley-Smith, Ben (29 September 2015). "British jihadists plotting attacks for Isil added to worldwide 'banned list' by David Cameron". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 October 2017. 
  15. ^ "Revealed: Isil bride Sally Jones's role in training female recruits for attacks on West". The Daily Telegraph. 11 September 2016. Archived from the original on 19 November 2016. 
  16. ^ "Sally Jones: Isis recruiter 'issues series of terror threats against UK cities' over Twitter". The Independent. 25 May 2016. Archived from the original on 19 November 2016. 
  17. ^ Gadher, Dipesh (7 May 2017). "'Mrs Terror', the Kent jihadist Sally Jones, shoots up US kill list". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 15 October 2017.  (subscription required)
  18. ^ Gadher, Dipesh (28 August 2016). "Isis video’s ‘lion cub’ killer may be British". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 13 October 2017. 
  19. ^ Haynes, Deborah (29 August 2016). "Boy killer is my son, says former partner of jihadi bride". The Times. Retrieved 13 October 2017.  (subscription required)
  20. ^ Bowcott, Owen (12 October 2017). "Is the targeting of Isis member Sally Jones legally justified?". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 October 2017. 
  21. ^ a b Iaccino, Ludovica (16 October 2017). "Was Sally Jones's 12-year-old son a legitimate target? US drone strike on Isis 'white widow' questioned". International Business Times. Retrieved 22 October 2017. 
  22. ^ Sari, Aurel (18 October 2017). "Was the drone strike on IS recruiter Sally Jones lawful?". The Conversation. Retrieved 22 October 2017. 

External links[edit]