A British member of the savage Islamic State 'Beatles' gang that included Jihadi John travelled to the Middle East on an aid convoy organised by George Galloway, it emerged yesterday.
Alexanda Kotey, 32, and three other known extremists were among those who joined the London mayoral candidate's controversial journey to Gaza in 2009.
Kotey was yesterday named with Aine Davis, 31, as part of the murderous IS unit that beheaded 27 hostages.
Both men were born Christian but converted to Islam and attended the same mosque. They were radicalised on the streets of west London before travelling to Syria.
Kotey, Davis, Mohammed Emwazi - known as Jihadi John - and an unknown fourth man were called the Beatles by victims because of their British accents. They had a reputation for mock executions and crucifixions.
The first to be unmasked was Emwazi, who beheaded hostages including aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning.
He was killed in a US drone strike in November. Kotey and Davis were named as members in reports by Buzzfeed, the Washington Post and ITV. Queens Park Rangers fan Kotey grew up in Shepherd's Bush and converted to Islam in his twenties. It is believed someone using the name "Ringo" wrote online claiming to be a QPR fan from that area of London.
A US intelligence official confirmed Kotey had travelled to Syria and said his role in the taking of Western hostages was being investigated. Yesterday, his family said they were "deeply distressed" at the claims and had "not seen Alex for a number of years". Reports named Kotey as a key IS recruiter who helped radicalise fellow Londoners Hamza Parvez, brothers Fatlam and Flamur Shalaku, Mohammed Nasser and student Mohammed el-Araj, according to ITV. All except Parvez are known to have died fighting for IS.
It is unclear whether Kotey is alive, after reports he was killed in a summer offensive against IS. An unnamed associate told ITV: "It was Alex most definitely who was the lynchpin, the main recruiter person who sucked people into his orbit."
Davis, a former drug dealer, has been mentioned as a potential member of the IS Beatles for several years. Originally from Hammersmith, he grew up in Gambia where he converted to Islam at 15. After moving to Syria, he was detained in Turkey last year on suspicion of plotting a terror attack in tandem with the Paris atrocities.
Messages revealed he was a leading IS figure in contact with the terrorists in the French capital. His wife Amal El-Wahabi was jailed in 2014 for funding terrorism. Kotey, Davis and Emwazi all attended Al Manaar mosque in Ladbroke Grove, where they were marginalised for extremist views.
They were part of the "London boys" - young radical Muslim extremists, predominantly from west London. Fellow member Reza Afsharzadegan, an Iranian-born IT student from Ladbroke Grove, was also on the Gaza aid convoy.
In 2011, mosque elders accused Kotey of attempting a "takeover", after he demanded UK foreign policy was addressed there. They threw him out, but he held meetings nearby to discuss his interpretation of Islam. Several extremists who have since travelled to Syria attended the lectures.
A local community worker told ITV News: "I believe the mosque took steps to stop them from holding their little classrooms ... [Kotey] was certainly the most vocal."
Mosque director Saleha Islam said it had no part in the men's radicalisation, telling ITV: "Those who join ISIS and the like have no understanding of the faith and we do not support their ideology or actions."
A spokesman for Mr Galloway, said the ex-MP had no recollection of Kotey. A Home Office spokesman declined to comment.