Middle East

'Jihadi John' naming hailed by Middle East media

Front page of Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Ra'i Image copyright Al-Ra'i
Image caption Kuwait's Al-Ra'i quotes Emwazi as saying he feels "like a prisoner without a cage in London"

Middle Eastern media welcome the news that the identity of an Islamic State (IS) militant known as "Jihadi John" has been revealed. But some wonder why the man from west London is still at large.

The masked Islamic State militant, who has been pictured in the videos of the beheadings of Western hostages, was named on Thursday as Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born Briton from west London.

The identification of "Jihadi John" is front-page news for many newspapers across the Middle East.

Several carry still pictures of from IS propaganda videos of hostage killings.

Some, such as pan-Arab newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat, call him "The IS butcher".

Lebanese newspaper Al-Nahar welcomes his identification: "At last, the identity of Jihadi John is revealed" says its headline.

"A computer programmer called Muhammad Emwazi," says Qatari newspaper Al-Rayah. "The slaughterer of IS hostages who cut seven heads is a Londoner."

Kuwait's Al-Ra'i focuses on his allegations to London-based campaign group Cage that he was stopped from returning to his native country.

Image copyright PA
Image caption UK police were positioned at flats in West London where Mohammed Emwazi is believed to have lived

"John the IS slaughterer: British security prevented me from going to live in Kuwait" says a headline in the paper.

In contrast to the celebratory mood in the press, the conspiracy theories typical of much of Middle Eastern media discourse are already being given airing on some Arabic-language TV channels.

Speaking on a talk show broadcast by private Egyptian TV station Al-Mihwar, pundit Amru Sunbul, a member of the Egyptian Society for American Studies, wondered why Mohammed Emwazi was still free if the CIA and the British security services apparently knew that much info about his identity and movements.

In his view, it suggested a conspiracy between them and Islamic State.

"If they have access to all the detailed information, why don't they destroy those fighters?" exclaimed the show's presenter.

Al-Arabiya, a UAE-based pan-Arab TV station, carried a lengthy report about the militant's identity on its website.

After returning to London in 2010, "he did not have the patience to spend more than three years there," the TV said.

"He appeared as a Daeshi and a cutter of people's throats in Syria, threatening the entire world and everyone in it," it added, using the derogatory term for IS militants commonly used in the Middle East.

Elsewhere on pan-Arab TV, news of the naming of "Jihadi John" was eclipsed by reports of IS militants destroying ancient statues in Iraq.

Among pro-jihadist online commentators, meanwhile, the news has been largely ignored.

However, some sought to exploit the issue to spread the group's propaganda by hijacking the popular hashtag #JihadiJohn.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.