ISIS recruiter Sally Jones and her 12 year old son, Jojo, have reportedly been assassinated by a US airstrike close to the border between Syria and Iraq.
The British mother from Kent had travelled to Syria in 2013 along with her child and husband, Junaid Hussain, to join ISIS. Hussain was a computer hacker and was assassinated by a US drone strike in 2015.
According to media reports, the CIA told its UK counterparts that Jones, 50, was killed by a Predator drone strike in June.
The BBC’s security correspondent Frank Gardner said she had been a useful propaganda agent for ISIS on social media. Jones had been used to recruit Western girls to the group and posted threatening messages to people in the UK.
She used her Twitter account to provide practical advice on how to travel to Syria.
Both Hussain and Jones were accused of trying to recruit extremists in the UK to carry out attacks. She was placed on a UN sanctions list that included a travel ban and freeze on assets, and a hit list for US bombings.
Earlier this year, friends had said Jones was desperate to return to the UK. Her friend Aisha told Sky News: “She was crying and wants to get back to Britain but ISIS is preventing her because she is now a military wife. She told me she wishes to go to her country.”
Major General Chip Chapman, the former Ministry of Defence head of counter terror, said Jones would have been a “significant” target as a result of her alliance with Hussain and her role in recruiting IS fighters.
Responding to reports her son was killed in the strike, he added: “It is a difficult one because under the UN Charters he is under the age of what we would classify as a soldier.”
Jojo has appeared in ISIS videos appearing to kill prisoners.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We do not comment on matters of national security.”