The Pentagon is looking into a media report citing the CIA that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) poster girl Sally Jones is dead. The “white widow,” the world’s most wanted female terrorist, was reportedly killed in a US drone strike in June.
According to a report by British tabloid the Sun, Jones was killed while trying to escape Raqqa.
“The Americans zapped her trying to get away from Raqqa. Quite frankly, it’s good riddance,”the Sun quoted a Whitehall source as saying.
The Sun’s article claims that the CIA told their British counterparts that Jones had been killed by a Predator drone strike.
There are fears that the strike might have also killed her 12-year-old son Joe ‘Jojo’ Dixon. The Sun’s sources said ‘Jojo’ was not specifically targeted in the strike, and it would have been called off if he had been known to be in the vicinity.
The Pentagon, however, declined to confirm the report of Jones’ death officially.
“I do not have any information that would substantiate that report but that could change and we are looking into this,” Pentagon spokesman Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
There was no immediate comment from the CIA either.
Jones, who was the lead guitarist of an all-girl rock-band in the 1990s, left her home in Kent to join the terrorists in Syria with her husband Junaid Hussain back in 2013.
The couple were reportedly involved in planning IS attacks, and were considered to be among the organization’s most effective western recruiters. Hussain was killed in a US drone strike in 2015.
Jones used her social media accounts to recruit women for IS and was giving practical tips on how to travel to Syria. She also encouraged IS sympathizers to carry out attacks in the UK, reportedly offering practical guidance.
The “white widow” was also reportedly in charge of training European female fighters, or “muhajirat,” in Raqqa, according to British broadsheet the Telegraph.