By Edo’s Eghosa, Chief Reporter
Special Forces experts are using voice-recognition techniques to hunt down the British killer of James Foley.
The specialists are urgently trying to identify the man – who speaks with what appears to be a London accent – who beheaded Mr Foley in yesterday’s shocking video.
In the video, the masked killer gives a statement directly to the camera blaming President Barack Obama for the death of the American, who is seen dressed in a Guantanamo-style orange jumpsuit as he kneels in the sand. The man then carries out the beheading, before warning that another American hostage could be next.
Investigators are studying the video to try to establish whether the voice of the Briton delivering the IS statement is definitely that of the man shown in black who carries out the murder.
Security officials said the words may have been edited on to the video and that the man in black said nothing that was heard. Specialists believe the killer may already be on their radar after more than two years of investigations into Britons travelling to Syria and now Iraq.
The voice and tell-tale speech patterns of terror suspects and radicalised Britons – recorded and monitored in Britain and overseas – are stored and held by investigators at the Government’s Communication Centre in Cheltenham.
One clue to the killer’s identity is that he appears to be left-handed, holding the knife in that hand and wearing his rifle on his left shoulder. It is believed the murder took place in Syria where Mr Foley has been held since 2012. The photograph is being studied for possible clues as to the location.
Four French journalists and two Spaniards held for months and freed in April will also be asked if they recognise the voice. One was kept for some of his captivity in the same base as Mr Foley.