Unmasking of Jihadi John 'Not Important,' James Foley's Dad Says

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The dad of U.S. journalist James Foley said he is not dwelling on the identity of his executioner, a British militant dubbed "Jihadi John" who was unmasked as a college graduate who was known to security services.

“Discovering who he is might be important to some people, but it's not important to me,” his father John Foley told an audience of students in Arizona on Thursday night. “Jihadi John happened to be in that position. But if it were not for him, it would be somebody else.”

He added: "If we keep hating one another and hurting one another how do we ever get to peace?"

The notorious figure from ISIS beheading videos was identified Thursday as Mohammed Emwazi, a 26-year-old Kuwait-born British computer sciences graduate who was repeatedly questioned by U.K. intelligence agencies.

He remains at large in Syria or Iraq, and his unmasking came despite appeals by authorities for the name to be kept secret until he had been caught.

The publication of his name is the “first step in a long road to end to bringing closure,” a spokesman for the family of murdered ISIS hostage Steven Sotloff said.

“We would like to see John brought to an American court of law, where he would be prosecuted and hopefully convicted,” Barak Barfi added. “And after that that he would be sent to a Supermax prison where he would be in solitary confinement for the rest of his life.”

The widow of a British victim of Jihadi John echoed that call, saying she wants him caught alive.

Dragana Haines told the BBC that the "last thing" she wants for the man who killed her husband, aid worker David Haines, is an "honorable death."

However, Haines’ daughter said she wished Jihadi John was dead. "It's a good step but I think all the families will feel closure and relief once there's a bullet between his eyes," Bethany Haines told NBC News' U.K. partner ITV News.

It came as more emerged about the life of Emwazi, who had sought the help of a human rights charity because he believed he was being persecuted by British security services who accused him of Islamist extremism.