UK sleuths tried to hire Dhar before he became 'new Jihadi John'

Before the Indian-origin terror suspect fled to Syria, MI5 had tried to recruit him as a double agent

London: Britain's intelligence services had tried to recruit Indian-origin IS terror suspect Siddhartha Dhar as a double agent before he managed to flee to Syria, a media report claimed yesterday.

Siddhartha Dhar was tracked and stopped in the street by MI5 officers in a 'bump' operation. Pic/Youtube
Siddhartha Dhar was tracked and stopped in the street by MI5 officers in a 'bump' operation. Pic/Youtube

Dhar, who was dubbed the 'new Jihadi John' after he emerged as the masked terrorist seen in a recent Islamic State (IS) video, was allegedly contacted twice by MI5 officers before he was arrested for terrorist offences.

A security source said Dhar, had earlier been stopped in the street by MI5 officers in what is known as a 'bump' operation. The 32-year-old Dhar was warned he was on MI5's radar and his activities were being monitored.

Dhar was contacted by MI5 for a second time and was offered the chance to work for the agency. It is not known how he responded.

Last week, Scotland Yard wrote to Dhar asking him to surrender his passport, weeks after he had already fled to Syria.

Dhar ready to die

Siddhartha Dhar is ready to die for the terror group, his sister has said. London-based Konika Dhar had received a message from her brother last year after he had skipped bail and fled the UK with his pregnant wife and four children saying, “I’m prepared for death”. In a phone-call in October last year, he said, “Focus on the hereafter and don’t worry.”

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