He is one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, and — as one might not be all that shocked to learn — he’s a sick, twisted torture master, according to one man who spent more than a year as his captive.
Mohammed Emwazi, aka Jihadi John — the nickname given to the man seen on many of ISIS’s propaganda videos — allegedly used to force captive Daniel Rye Ottosen to dance with him.
“He picked me up and I had to dance the tango, John and I,” Rye Ottosen, a 26-year-old Danish photographer, and the last Western ISIS hostage to be freed alive, told a Danish news agency. Rye Ottosen was held captive by the Islamic State in Syria for some 13 months before his release was negotiated and paid for.
“My head was down and afraid of being beaten. He led me around the prison,” he said of his terrorist captor. “Suddenly, he changed and just pushed me down. They kicked and hit me. They finished by threatening to cut my nose off with pliers and things like that.”
“It’s not really that surprising that he would have this kind of almost Clockwork Orange sense of sinister humor about torturing and abasing one of his hostages,” Michael Weiss, co-author of “ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror” told CNN.
Jihadi John reportedly enjoys torturing captives held by ISIS. According to the Daily Mail, the Danish photographer writes in a new book that he was forced to memorize a line from a popular song that the terrorist altered. Taken from “Hotel California” by The Eagles, Ottosen says the line was, “Welcome to Osama’s lovely hotel, such a lovely place, such a lovely place. You will never leave Osama’s lovely hotel, and if you try, you will die, Mr. Bigley-style,” a reference to Ken Bigley who was beheaded in 2004 by al-Qaeda.
Rye Ottosen was kidnapped just three days after he went to Syria, where he planned to photograph the suffering of refugees from the civil war, and was one of 23 Western journalists and aid workers held hostage by IS in Syria. He shared cells with the majority of them at a jail in Aleppo and ISIS defacto capital, Raqqa.
Most were freed after ransoms were paid – but the US and British stance on refusing to pay ransoms to terrorists meant that those hostages were left behind. During that time, four Americans were killed, two Britons and a Russian.