U.S. 'reasonably certain' drone strike killed ISIS mouthpiece 'Jihadi John'
(CNN)He hid his face, but "Jihadi John" was the English-speaking voice of ISIS. His twisted, videotaped taunts and acts of terrible cruelty -- beheading hostages who had gone to the Middle East to report stories and help others -- symbolized the Islamist militant group's depravity and ruthlessness.
Not anymore, it appears.
U.S. Army Col. Steven Warren said Friday that a drone strike the previous night killed everyone in the targeted vehicle, with Mohammed Emwazi -- a.k.a. "Jihadi John" -- likely among them.
"We are reasonably certain that we killed the target that we intended to kill, which is Jihadi John," the Army spokesman said. "...This guy was a human animal, and killing him is probably making the world a little bit better place."
Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a Syrian activist group, said a missile hit Emwazi's car directly at 11:51 p.m. (4:51 p.m. ET) in front of an ISIS court in Raqqa. Citing a source in ISIS' de facto capital, the same group said that ISIS militants then ringed that vehicle and two others that had been struck to prevent anyone from getting closer.
Speaking hours later Friday, British Prime Minister David Cameron cast the airstrike as an act of self-defense that, if it is confirmed Emwazi is dead, "will strike at the heart of ISIS."
"We always said we will do whatever is necessary to track down Emwazi and stop him taking the lives of others," he said.
But there is no joy or sense of victory from Louise Woodward-Styles. Her friend, British aid worker David Haines, was among the hostages whose beheading videos featured Emwazi. Others included American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, U.S. aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid worker David Haines and Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.
'Jihadi John' victims: Journalists, aid workers making a difference
"There's just sadness," Woodward-Styles said. "It reminds you of the loss of Alan and just hoping it's closure for the family. But also I hope it reminds people that the issue of Syria is still ongoing, and not to forget the reasons why Alan was there."
As to Emwazi himself, Woodward-Styles added, "I don't think he deserves the attention that his apparent death is causing. I think he was a coward."