UK Pastor May Hold Key to Locating ISIS’ Beheader

Daniel Downer, left, who is not accused of any wrongdoing, was sent a message by Nero Saraiva, right.
Daniel Downer, left, who is not accused of any wrongdoing, was sent a message by Nero Saraiva, right.

A Christian preacher in London may hold vital information about a man suspected by the security services of being an accomplice of Jihadi John, the Islamic State murderer.

Daniel Downer, who is not accused of any wrongdoing, was sent a message by Nero Saraiva, who travelled to Syria two years ago.

Mr Downer, from Chingford, east London, was asked to provide photographs of Saraiva’s young son, who is thought to live in the capital with Saraiva’s former partner.

It is believed the security services are keen to speak to everyone with knowledge of Saraiva’s movements after it emerged that he appeared to have advance knowledge of an Isil beheading video.

Saraiva, 28, openly boasts on Twitter about his access to weaponry, and his personal armoury appears to include a Glock 19 pistol with an extended magazine carrying 33 rounds.

The weapon is almost identical to one also carried by Jihadi John, who has appeared in at least nine beheading videos including those of British victims Alan Henning and David Haines.

Saraiva posted a message on his Twitter account on July 10 last year which read: “Message to America the Islamic state is making a new movie. Thank u for the actors.”

The death of James Foley, a journalist and the first American victim of an Islamic State murder, did not emerge until 40 days later on August 19.

Eleven days after his tweet, Saraiva used the social networking site to contact Mr Downer, a 30-year-old evangelical Christian preacher, asking him: “Do u have any pictures of my son”.

There is nothing to suggest that Mr Downer replied to the message, and nor is there confirmation at this stage that he knew Saraiva.

But later the same day Saraiva sent Mr Downer another tweet which showed Saraiva apparently in an Islamic country making a single-finger gesture with the index finger of his right hand – a “salute” which has become associated with Islamic State.

Mr Downer is understood to have attended church in Walthamstow, east London, at the weekend but he declined to return calls to The Telegraph.

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SOURCE: The Telegraph
David Barrett

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