Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 1st 2015 Contents • Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
SUNDAY, MARCH 1, 2015
A group of ambassadors to Russia lay flowers at the place where Boris Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic
of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down, at Red Square, with St Basil Cathedral in the back and the Kremlin at left, in Moscow,
Russia, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Boris Nemtsov, a charismatic
Russian opposition leader and
sharp critic of President
Vladimir Putin, was gunned
down near the Kremlin, just a
day before a planned protest
against the government.
Nemtsov's death late on Fri-
day ignited a fury among oppo-
sition figures who assailed the
Kremlin for creating an atmos-
phere of intolerance of any dis-
sent and called the killing an
assassination. Putin quickly
offered his condolences and
called the murder a provocation.
Nemtsov, a 55-year-old former
deputy prime minister, was
working on a report presenting
evidence that he believed proved
Russia's direct involvement in
the separatist rebellion that has
raged in eastern Ukraine since
last April. Ukraine and the West
accuse Russia of backing the
rebels with troops and sophis-
ticated weapons. Moscow denies
Hundreds of mourners gath-
ered at a makeshift memorial at
the site of the killing yesterday
in tribute to the slain opposition
politician. Putin ordered Russia's
top law enforcement chiefs to
personally oversee the probe of
Nemtsov's killing. "Putin noted
that this cruel murder has all
the makings of a contract hit
and is extremely provocative,"
presidential spokesman Dmitry
Peskov said in remarks carried
by Russian news agencies.
the world knows him bet-
ter as "Jihadi John," the
man whose masked face
and British accented-
taunts have featured in a
series of brutal Isis exe-
But many of those who
grew up with him have told
the UK media that remem-
ber Emwazi altogether dif-
ferently: as the typical "boy
next door," a popular kid
who loved football, pop music and The Simpsons.
A day after the long-standing mystery behind
Jihadi John's identity was solved, clues to his past
have begun to emerge---but far from showing him
as a violent extremist, they paint a picture of an
ordinary child and teenager growing up in the
Emwazi was born in Kuwait in 1988, and moved
to the UK with his parents, Jasem and Ghaneya,
and sister at the age of six, according to Cage, an
advocacy group for those affected by terrorism
The family settled down in west London;
Emwazi's father is reported to have worked as a
taxi driver, while his mother stayed at home to look
after Emwazi and his siblings.
He is reported to have attended St Mary Mag-
dalene Church of England Primary School, in Lon-
don's Maida Vale; a photograph published on the
front pages of several British newspapers showed
a smiling young boy in the school's scarlet sweater
uniform, surrounded by his classmates and teacher---
a far cry from the black-clad jihadi infamous around
After leaving St Mary Magdalene, Emwazi is
believed to have moved on to the Quintin Kynaston
Academy in neighbouring St John's Wood, whose
alumni include singers Tulisa Contostavolos and
Shola Ama; his sister later became a prefect there.
One of his classmates, speaking on condition of
anonymity, told the Daily Telegraph newspaper he
was a "typical north-west London boy."
"He seemed like a nice guy ... a down-to-earth
person and humble. He liked football and he was
friends with everyone. All the Indian boys, all the
Pakistani boys, people from different religions, he
spoke to everyone." A neighbour of the Emwazi
family told CNN he was a "polite young man." A
former teacher told Britain's Channel 4 News that
Emwazi was "a diligent hard-working lovely young
man. Responsible, polite, quiet. He was everything
that you'd want a student to be.
"He was somebody who would always seek the
correct way of handling something. He did things
in the right way," she insisted. "There was never
any indication of any violence at all."
The unidentified educator said her ex-pupil "was
religious ... and I think as he got older he did become
more devout. He would go to the mosque on Fridays
and pray but a lot of our kids did that."
Emwazi apparently did well enough at the school
to go on to Westminster University in London; he
completed a degree in 2009.
Asim Qureshi, research director of Cage, insists
that the Mohammed Emwazi he knew was "very
kind, extremely gentle, (a) humble individual, who
didn't have any self-importance about himself."
Intelligence services and terrorism experts are
now piecing together just how he went from that
to the infamous "bogeyman" of Isis---something
which continues to puzzle many of those who knew
him as a boy. (CNN)
murder shocks Russia
Kremlin opponents killed or died in
• Boris Berezovsky, 67, a former
oligarch and fierce foe of Russian
President Vladimir Putin. Found hanged in
a bathroom at his home in the UK on
March 23, 2013.
• Anna Politkovskaya, 48, a journalist, is
shot dead at the entrance to her
apartment block in central Moscow on
October 7, 2006.
• Alexander Litvinenko, 43, former
intelligence officer turned Putin critic dies
after allegedly drinking tea laced with
radioactive on November 23, 2006.
'Jihadi John' unmasked
President Obama has led
tributes to Leonard Nimoy,
the US actor who played Mr
Spock in the sci-fi series Star
Trek, who has died aged 83.
"I loved Spock," Obama said.
Nimoy died in Los Angeles
on Friday. His son Adam said
he died of end-stage chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease,
which is often caused by
His career took in acting,
directing, writing and photog-
raphy, but he was best known
for portraying the half-human,
half-Vulcan character Spock.
Obama said in a statement:
"Long before being nerdy was
cool, there was Leonard
"Leonard was a lifelong lover
of the arts and humanities, a
supporter of the sciences, gen-
erous with his time and tal-
Among the torrent of trib-
utes on Twitter was a message
from Nasa crediting Nimoy
and Star Trek as an inspiration.
Obama leads tributes to Star Trek actor
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