Since Mohammed Emwazi was revealed to be the bloodthirsty terrorist Jihad John, few have had a good word to say about the 26-year-old West Londoner. But aged 21 he worked as a salesman for an IT firm in Kuwait, and the manager claims he was their best ever employee.
Emwazi attended the notorious hotbed of Islamic extremism the University of Westminster to study IT, after which he returned to his native to Kuwait to work for the firm. He had originally left the country with his family when he was 6 to move to taxpayer funded home in the smart Maida Vale district of London.
Staff at the IT firm told the Guardian he easily passed probation, and was withdrawn but had a natural flare for the work. One of his former bosses said: “He was the best employee we ever had… He was very good with people. Calm and decent. He came to our door and gave us his CV.”
Despite impressing them, the company still claim to have been bemused that Emwazi wanted to work in Kuwait. He earned just £657 per month, £109 expenses, and five per cent commission on business he brought in.
These comparatively low salaries often led to young ambitious Kuwaitis to head for London, but rarely for Londoners to come back. A member of staff at the company said: “Muslim and Arabic people travel from here to London or the US, and they stay two years looking for a job or even a place to stay… It always puzzled me. Why would he come here?”
“But it seemed as though he faced some problems, maybe family, social or psychological. I didn’t really ask. He wanted a good job (in London) and he wanted to get married, but he couldn’t and it made a problem for him.”
He went on to explain how shocked everyone was when it was revealed the young man they knew was the masked killer on the ISIS videos. “How could someone as calm and quiet as him become like the man who we saw on the news? It’s just not logical that he could be this guy.”
The information about his work in Kuwait fills in some of the gaps in his CV. Intriguingly he twice asked for emergency leave to visit his family and on the second occasion he never came back. It is now known that he did try to return but this was the occasion anti-terror police stopped him boarding the plane.