Emails suggest 'Jihadi John' had suicidal thoughts
A screen grab from a video posted to YouTube by ISIS that claims to show journalist James Foley, who was abducted in 2012 while covering the Syria civil war, being beheaded. (Photo via YouTube)
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British Aid Worker David Haines (Photo via YouTube)
Screen shot from an Internet video released Friday that purports to show an ISIS militant beheading British aid worker Alan Henning, who had been taken hostage by the extremist group.
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant fighter threatens to behead Japanese hostages Journalist Kenji Goto Jogo, left, and military contractor Haruna Yukawa in a propaganda video released by the organization January 20, 2015.
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: The home where the British Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) militant known as 'Jihadi John' is claimed to have once lived, is pictured on February 26, 2015 in London, England. Mohammed Emwazi has been pictured in videos showing the beheading of Western hostages. (Photo by Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An arrangment of British daily newspapers photographed in London on February 27, 2015 shows the front-page headlines and stories regarding the identification of the masked Islamic State group militant dubbed 'Jihadi John'. The British headlines were dominated on Febryary 27 by the story of the identification of the Islamic State executioner. 'Jihadi John', the masked Islamic State group militant believed responsible for beheading of at least five Western hostages, has been named as Kuwaiti-born computing graduate Mohammed Emwazi from London. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL SORABJI (Photo credit should read DANIEL SORABJI/AFP/Getty Images)
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LONDON (AP) -- Newly published emails suggest the man who became known as "Jihadi John" had suicidal thoughts before leaving Britain for Syria.
In an email exchange with the Mail on Sunday five years ago, he talked of taking too many sleeping pills and sleeping forever as a way to get away from British security service scrutiny. Mohammed Emwazi told a journalist at the newspaper in an email that he felt like a "dead man walking."
Emwazi was revealed this week to be the Islamic State militant known as "Jihadi John," who appears in beheading videos brandishing a large knife.
He was a computer science graduate who lived in west London before leaving for Syria in 2013. He was interrogated by security services while in Britain but was never arrested or charged.
In Sunday's edition of the Mail on Sunday, journalist Robert Verkaik described meeting Emwazi in 2010 when he was using the name Mohammed al-Zuhary.
"He seemed to have a persecution complex and desperately wanted his story to be told," Verkaik wrote of his encounter with the young man.
At the time, Emwazi was pursuing a complaint against police for alleged mistreatment.
"His concerns seemed to border on paranoia," Verkaik wrote. He described Emwazi as someone who was polite and understood how journalists worked.