November 17, 2014 / 11:21 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 2-Father of British student denies son in beheading video

(Updates with new quotes from father)

By Rebecca Naden and Ahmed Aboulenein

CARDIFF, Wales, Nov 17 (Reuters) - The father of a British man who was reported to be among a squad of Islamic State jihadists filmed beheading Syrian soldiers denied on Monday that the man shown in the video posted online was his son.

Ahmed Muthana was quoted by the Daily Mail newspaper on Monday as saying his 20-year-old son Nasser Muthana appeared to be among a group of 16 jihadists who were seen on the video, which also showed the killing of American hostage Peter Kassig.

“I cannot be certain, but it looks like my son,” Ahmed Muthana, who lives in the Welsh capital city of Cardiff, was quoted as saying.

But when he spoke to other reporters later on Monday outside his home, he said: “That is not my son, the nose is different, it does not look like my son.”

“I have not seen my son since November 2013 but that is not my son,” Muthana said. He also told Reuters by telephone that the man shown in the video was not his son.

The announcement of aid worker Kassig’s death, the fifth such killing of a Western captive by Islamic State (IS), formed part of the 15-minute video which showed the beheadings of at least 14 men who Islamic State militants said were pilots and officers loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Islamic State, which controls swathes of Iraq and Syria, includes thousands of foreign combatants and has become a magnet for jihadi volunteers from Europe and North America, Western intelligence agencies have said.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said there was a strong likelihood that a 22-year-old French citizen also appeared in the beheading video.

The British Foreign office declined to comment.

IS has previously released videos of the beheading of two American and two British men which feature a masked, black-clad militant brandishing a knife and speaking with an English accent, who has been dubbed “Jihadi John” by British media.

Sunday’s video showed all of the killers but the black-clad militant unmasked and the Daily Mail said the man who appeared to be Nasser Muthana was standing alongside Jihadi John.

Nasser Muthana had already appeared in a online video released in June urging Muslims to join IS.

His younger brother Aseel had also travelled to Syria after both were radicalised in Cardiff, his father told the BBC in June. Nasser Muthana’s school friend Reyaad Khan also appeared in the online footage in June, various media reports said. (Reporting by Rebecca Naden and Ahmed Aboulenein in Cardiff, Kate Holton and Paul Sandle in London; Editing by Crispian Balmer, Giles Elgood, Guy Faulconbridge and Sonya Hepinstall)

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