LATEST: UK forces hunt for Raymond Matimba after he appears in Syria war video with Jihadi John
Expert marksman Matimba(aka Abu Qaqa al-Britani al-Afro) was in contact with suicide bomber Salman Abedi in the run up to the Manchester atrocity – and is now likely to be UK security forces’ top terror target if he is alive.
Raymond Matimba was exposed yesterday as a senior figure in Isil after secret footage of him with ‘Jihadi John’, was obtained by press.
The footage is now being studied by British intelligence agencies in the hunt for Matimba, 28, now reckoned to be the most wanted British jihadist still alive. The footage showed Matimba with Mohammed Emwazi, the Isil executioner nicknamed ‘Jihadi John’ and two other British jihadists from Birmingham and Cardiff.
In the video the four are seen chatting and charging their mobile phones in a Syrian coffee shop.
The video’s source, whom the newspaper did not identify, told the publication that the Chivhu born Matimba had urged the terror cell to organise an attack on his home city of Manchester, and had spoken to Salman Abedi in the months before his attack in May. The source said: “He said [to the group]that he hated his city, that he wanted it to be bombed.”
Matimba was reported to have been killed this year, however his mother, Moncia, 60, told the newspaper that she had not received any official confirmation.
“I am still going through hell and I never expected such a thing like this to happen in my life,” she said. The support worker last heard from her son in 2015 via WhatsApp. “I contacted the counter-terrorism authorities,” she said. “I said I don’t want to talk to him any more. Eventually I changed my number.”
Matimba is known to have links with Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi, as the pair were recruited to join ISIS by the same man, Raphael Hostey.
They are also thought to have visited the same mosque together in south Manchester before Matimba, who also goes by the name Abu Qaqa al-Britani al-Afro, left the UK – first going to Barcelona and then to Turkey where he crossed into Syria.
He is thought to have exchanged messages with Abedi in the months leading up to the attack, which killed 22 people, though what was said is unclear.
The source also said Matimba was known for his skills with a rifle and trained ISIS snipers. In every photo and the video he is shown with an AK at his side. agencies