Sally Jones, a former British punk rocker also known as the “White Widow” of ISIS, was killed in a drone strike, according to The Sun.
The newspaper reports that U.S. intelligence officials told British officials that Jones was killed along the border of Syria and Iraq back in June.
“The Americans zapped her trying to get away from Raqqa. Quite frankly, it’s good riddance,” a source told The Sun. The paper said Jones was last been seen alive fleeing the carnage in Raqqa and heading toward the Syrian border town of Mayadin.
Jones, who used the Twitter account Umm Hussain al-Britani, was a major recruiter for ISIS and has sent out many threatening statements against the United States and its Western allies, including her wish to behead a Western prisoner in Syria and behead Christians with a “blunt knife,” according to the Counter Extremism Project. She also published the names and addresses of several U.S. soldiers online.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Sally Jones Played in a Punk Rock Band Called the Krunch
In the 1990s, Sally Jones played in an all-girl punk rock band called the Krunch, according to The Sun.
The newspaper said Jones was born in Greenwich in southeast London and was an only child. Her parents divorced, and at the age of 10 her father killed himself by overdosing.
According to the Counter Extremism Project, Jones worked as a perfume saleswoman for L’Oreal cosmetics and was reportedly wrote on online forums about conspiracy theories, black magic, and witchcraft.
2. There Are Reports That Sally Jones’ 12-Year-Old Son Was Also Killed in the Airstrike
Sally Jones was in Syria with her 12-year-old son Joe, also known as JoJo, and many reports claim she used him as a human shield.
Major General Chip Chapman, former head of counterterror for the British Ministry of Defense, told Sky News that under the United Nations charter, Jones’ son is too young to be considered an enemy combatant.
“Even if he got up to really bad things, he shouldn’t have been targeted. We don’t know for sure whether he was with her or not,” Chapman said.
The Sun reports that JoJo’s grandfather, Terry Lynch, said seeing images of the young boy killing an ISIS prisoner was devastating.
“I couldn’t believe it, I feel so sad. That is a wasted life. His life is finished,” he said. “There is no way he can come back to the normal world. It’s terrible. Unbelievable. I feel really guilty because the boy used to say to me, ‘Grandad, can I stay with you?”
3. The U.S. Military Has Not Confirmed Sally Jones’ Death
The Sun reported that Jones and her son were killed by a U.S. drone strike in June along the Syria-Iraq border, but U.S. military officials said on Thursday they cannot confirm her death.
During a press briefing at the Pentagon on Thursday, Defense Department spokeswoman Dana White declined to comment.
In 2015, the United Nations Security Council added Sally Jones to its Al-Qaida Sanctions List of individuals and entities subject to the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo set out in paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 2161 (2014) adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, according to the Counter Extremism Project.
4. Sally Jones Was Married to British Jihadist Junaid Hussain
Junaid Hussian, a computer hacker from Birmingham, England, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in August 2015. That’s when Sally Jones earned the nickname, “White Widow.”
That same year, the U.S. Department of State designated Jones as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist.”
5. The U.S. Military Has Conducted Thousands of Strikes in Iraq and Syria in the Fight Against ISIS
Several countries are fighting to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria, including the United States and Britain.
As of August 9, 2017, the U.S.-led coalition has conducted 13,331 strikes in Iraq, and 11,235 strikes in Syria, for a total of 24,566 strikes total in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, according to the Defense Department.