KUWAIT CITY –– The father of Mohammed Emwazi, dubbed Jihadi John, was today questioned by Kuwaiti officials who are trying to put together a profile of his son.
Jasem Emwazi met BBC journalist Mark Lowen briefly in Kuwait ahead of an interview with his lawyer.
Emwazi’s lawyer said he was in a “state of shock” after being questioned by officials for two to three hours and released without being named a suspect.
Videos have appeared to show his son carrying out Islamic State killings.
Emwazi showed no emotion as he entered his lawyer’s office in Kuwait to meet the BBC’s journalist, the first to do so since his son was unmasked as the jihadist posing in Islamic State videos.
Dressed in white, he appeared drawn, extending his hand, says our correspondent who greeted him in Arabic.
He replied but left the room shortly after, refusing to give an interview. His wife and daughter have not been interrogated, his lawyer said.
Emwazi returned to Kuwait from Britain last November, his lawyer said, adding that media reports of a recent arrival were wrong. He said Emwazi does not work in Kuwait, as some reports have suggested.
Asked when Emwazi last spoke to his son, or if he recognized the voice from the murder videos, the lawyer said he would rather not comment on personal matters.
Jihadi John was unmasked as 26-year-old Emwazi last week, although British and United States security services have reportedly known his identity for some time.
He has been seen in several videos showing the apparent murders of Islamic State captives, including British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning.
Emwazi’s parents, who live in Kuwait, are said to have told the authorities there that they last spoke to their son in 2013 when he called them from Turkey.
They said he told them he was going to do humanitarian work in Syria.
Emwazi’s mother is said to have told Kuwaiti officials she immediately recognized his voice when she heard him on a hostage video.
Those officials have told the BBC the family has been taken to a safe house.
Born in Kuwait in 1988, Emwazi came to Britain in 1994 when he was six years old.