Labour councillor is suspended pending probe after it emerged he praised ‘hard-working’ Jihadi John

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Labour councillor is suspended pending probe after it emerged he praised ‘hard-working’ Jihadi John

A Labour councillor once defended the description of Islamic State killer Jihadi John as a ‘beautiful young man’, it has emerged. Ibrahim Ali was

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A Labour councillor once defended the description of Islamic State killer Jihadi John as a ‘beautiful young man’, it has emerged. 

Ibrahim Ali was previously a spokesman for CAGE, an advocacy group which aims to ‘empower communities impacted by the War on Terror’. 

In 2015, he defended the group’s director, Asim Qureshi, who said Jihadi John was ‘hard-working, a lovely boy’ – telling MPs that the ‘comments were made in reference to the person that our research director met’ three years earlier, the Jewish Chronicle reported. 

Mr Ali, who was previously election agent for Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy, has been suspended by Labour pending an investigation. 

Ibrahim Ali was previously a spokesman for CAGE, an advocacy group which aims to ‘empower communities impacted by the War on Terror’.

Ibrahim Ali was previously a spokesman for CAGE, an advocacy group which aims to ‘empower communities impacted by the War on Terror’.

Ibrahim Ali was previously a spokesman for CAGE, an advocacy group which aims to ‘empower communities impacted by the War on Terror’.

A former constituency secretary of the Labour Party in Tottenham, he won a seat on Haringey Council in north London this month. 

Mr Qureshi caused an outcry when he said it was ‘hard to imagine’ how Jihadi John – real name Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born Briton – had travelled to Syria to join IS, and that he was the ‘most humble young person’ he ever knew. 

He blamed the killer’s radicalisation on British authorities. 

A member of the so-called ‘Isis Beatles’, Emwazi featured in several sickening videos showing the beheadings of Western captives. He was killed by a US drone strike in 2015. 

At the time, then-London mayor Boris Johnson said: ‘It was incredible that people could stand up and pretend that somehow it was the fault of the security forces for trying to apprehend and impede these guys and that that could somehow cause them to be radicalised. 

‘I think that is beyond satire and amounts to nothing less than an apology for terror. I hope they will be rethinking their position.’ 

Appearing in front of MPs in November 2015, Mr Ali said Mr Qureshi’s comments ‘were made by a number of people at the time’ about Emwazi. He added: ‘It is in no way in reference to the person he became and the acts that he committed. The comments were made in reference to the person that our research director met at the time in 2012.’ 

Earlier that year, he had, as CAGE spokesman, rallied against proposals to shut down anyone preaching hate, saying: ‘If [then Home Secretary] Theresa May and the justice minister believed in tolerance and equality they would have the courage and confidence to allow debate and the force of argument to prevail against the so-called “preachers of hate”.’ 

A Labour spokesman said that the party does not comment on individual cases.

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