BBC defends coverage of unmasking of Islamic State terrorist Mohammed Emwazi

The BBC has defended its coverage of the unmasking of Islamic State terrorist Mohammed Emwazi as Jihadi John (pictured, Reuters) after some viewers accused them of glamorising his cause.

Emwazi was named last month and journalists uncovered details about his family life and education in west London.

The BBC said it had received "some complaints from viewers and listeners who feel there has been too much coverage" of the story.

A BBC News spokesman said the story was "globally significant" and the identification of Emwazi was "an important development".

He went on: "We have a responsibility to report the story as well as examine Emwazi's background and shed light on his radicalisation. We don't believe that our coverage has glamorised him or Islamic State.

"We have made it very clear that he appears to be responsible for a number of brutal killings, and is a member of a growing, well-armed, well-financed organisation that commits acts of brutality and is having a profound impact on the security of the Middle East.

"We feel BBC News has reported on the activities of Islamic State and Mohammed Emwazi in a clear and accurate manner."

Speculation about Jihadi John's identity was rife before Emwazi was named as the masked militant seen wielding a knife in a series of barbaric videos of hostage beheadings.

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