Without officially confirming the death of the ISIS operative known as “Jihadi John,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Friday that the overnight airstrike that targeted Mohammed Emwazi shows that the Obama administration is committed to dismantling the terrorist group.
“The fact that we were even able to conduct this airstrike, I think, is some indication that we are serious about applying pressure to ISIL leaders and to using that intelligence to do that,” Earnest told reporters at Friday’s press briefing.
Earnest also confirmed that the families of the hostages who were brutally beheaded by Emwazi were informed of the airstrike before it was reported in the media.
“The reason for that is simply that when these kinds of operations take place, it once again elevates the media attention around their loved one,” he added.
As of Friday morning, the Pentagon said it was “reasonably certain” that Emwazi was killed in the strike, but that it would take time to officially confirm his death.
Watch the video above, via NBC.
[Image via screengrab]
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