Jihadi John family’s 20 years on benefits: How it’s cost taxpayers up to £400k to house fanatic and his relatives in upmarket areas
- Mohammed Emwazi’s family granted asylum in 1996 after leaving Kuwait
- They have since lived in five homes, one of which was worth £450 per week
- Neither his father Jasem, 51, nor mother Ghaneya worked while in Britain
- Westminster City Council is still paying rent on family’s £600,000 flat
- One landlord described the family as ‘parasites’ and ‘tenants from hell’
- MPs blasted family for ‘abusing hospitality’ and say payouts are ‘disgrace’
Jihadi John and his asylum-seeking family have milked the British benefits system for 20 years, the Mail can reveal today.
Housing the Islamic State executioner and his relatives in affluent parts of London has cost taxpayers up to £400,000.
One landlord said Mohammed Emwazi’s family were ‘parasites’ and ‘tenants from hell’. Incredibly, they are still believed to be pocketing £40,000 a year in handouts despite there being no sign of them in Britain.
Mohammed Emwazi: Jihadi John (pictured left and right) and his asylum-seeking family have milked the British benefits system for 20 years, with Westminster City Council still paying rent on their £600,000 home
The family have claimed hundreds of thousands of pounds in benefits in Britain since arriving in the UK and lived in homes costing £450 a week. Pictured: The family home in Queen’s Park for the past eight years
Emwazi’s father Jasem, who has six children, is back in his native Kuwait – the country he claimed he fled fearing for his life.
Westminster City Council is still paying the rent on the family’s £600,000 flat even though the rules say housing benefit should normally be stopped after 13 weeks.
MPs said they were horrified that the child of a family given refugee status, citizenship and benefits had returned the favour by orchestrating the murder of two of its citizens.
‘They are abusing our hospitality,’ said Philip Hollobone. ‘The rules are quite clear. If there has been any abuse of the system here, money should be paid back.
‘Mohammed Emwazi’s offences are worse than murder or terrorism. They are an assault on the British way of life.’
David Davies, a fellow Tory MP, said: ‘This is an absolute outrage and a disgrace. We should stop their housing benefit immediately. Mr Emwazi clearly doesn’t need asylum in this country.’
The family lived in this £1.4m apartment in Maida Vale, north London, from 2005 to 2007
The Mail investigation can also reveal that:
- The family fled Kuwait after the first Gulf War, claiming persecution because they were seen to favour the Iraqi invasion in 1990;
- They claimed asylum in the UK and won refugee status in 1996;
- Five years later they were made British citizens and then started travelling back to Kuwait;
- The family have claimed hundreds of thousands of pounds in benefits in Britain since their arrival in the country and lived in homes costing £450 a week;
- Emwazi’s father is now back working in Kuwait while the family continues to receive state assistance for the home in Queen’s Park.
The owner of a house in Little Venice where they lived for four years said Westminster City Council paid £450 a week in rent for the family – £23,400 a year.
Two more of the five owners of homes they have lived in have confirmed their rent was paid by the council or through a housing association.
Assuming the same £23,400-a-year cost, then the bill over 20 years is £468,000.
Emwazi’s father Jasem, 51, and his wife Ghaneya brought their family – including Mohammed, then aged six – to Britain in 1994.
The couple successfully argued that because they are ‘Bedoon’ – stateless people denied citizenship by Kuwait – they should be granted asylum. The award of British citizenship allowed the whole family to make regular trips back to Kuwait.
During their time in Britain, neither Jasem nor Ghaneya officially worked, although the owner of one of their homes alleges Mr Emwazi was working on the side for cash in hand.
Records show the family were first placed in a three-bedroom apartment – now worth £900,000 – in Little Venice before moving to a £1million terraced home. The £1,950-a-month rent was covered by Westminster City Council, according to the property’s owner.
The house had to be turned from four bedrooms to five to accommodate the growing family, whose four-year stay cost taxpayers about £93,600 in rent alone.
Despite the huge outlay, Mr Emwazi tried to buy the home for £300,000 – even though it was worth double this at the time. The owner had no idea how he had the cash to make the offer, which was declined.
The Emwazis were then moved to a £600,000 apartment near Lord’s Cricket Ground, which was rented through Network Housing Group, and then on to a £1.4million apartment in Maida Vale.