- Tarek Dergoul went to Portugal with Mohammed Emwazi to meet an Syrian terror suspect in 2011, a year before Emwazi left to wage jihad
- Dergoul condemned Jihadi John, who was killed in a US airstrike last year
- Ex Guantanamo Bay inmate was confirmed he did know Emwazi
A former British inmate of Guantanamo Bay who received part of a £20million payout has been linked to the the notorious British ISIS fighter known as Jihadi John.
Tarek Dergoul went to Portugal with Mohammed Emwazi to meet an Syrian terror suspect in the summer of 2011, one year before he travelled to Syria and went on to execute hostages.
Mr Dergoul, who is of Moroccan heritage but was born in East London, confirmed that the British security services did know about his relationship with Emwazi, according to The Sunday Times.
The 38-year-old condemned Jihadi John, who was killed in a US airstrike last November in the ISIS-held city of Raqqa, Syria.
Around a year after Emwazi's trip to Portugal, the Kuwaiti born IT worker disappeared and is thought to have made his way through Europe to Syria
Mohammed Emwazi was on the radar of British security services for a number of years, with heightened surveillance focusing on him after Emwazi's safari trip to Tanzania in 2009.
Travelling with two other friends, Emwazi was stopped in Tanzania and was deported over concerns his safari trip was a cover story for a secret plan to travel to Somalia and join al-Shabaab.
Emwazi would later repeatedly claim he was harassed by security services, blaming intelligence officers for twice ruining his chances to get married when he was engaged.
Despite increased surveillance from British security services and several failed efforts to return to Kuwait, the University of Westminster graduate passed through border checks when he drove with Mr Dergoul from London to Lisbon.
When asked this week about his relationship with Emwazi and the trip to Portugal, Mr Dergoul initially told The Sunday Times: 'I don't know what you are talking about.'
He did go on to speak frankly about his past, saying: 'MI5 know... What's so secret about it? I've got nothing to hide. Any country I've been to, its on file.'
'The police would be standing here now if there's anything wrong,' he claimed.
During their time in Portugal, Tarek Dergoul and Mohammed Emwazi allegedly met with a Syrian man, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
The Syrian man had spent time in Guantanamo Bay after he was captured in Afghanistan.
It is understood that Mr Dergoul, Emwazi and the Syrian man also encountered several members of the Portuguese security services, who quizzed them about their backgrounds.
Mr Dergoul and Emwazi informed the security officers that they were enjoying a sightseeing trip around Europe before the two men returned to the UK after Emwazi received an urgent call from his father regarding a family matter.
Mr Dergoul was held in Guantanamo Bay after he was detained in Afghanistan.
He claimed he had originally travelled to Pakistan to study Arabic before entering Afghanistan looking to buy land and develop properties before selling them on for a profit after the war.
He denied US allegations that while he was in Afghanistan he attended a jihadi training camp.
Following his time in Guantanamo Bay where he later recalled how he was beaten and repeatedly abused, Mr Dergoul and four other British nationals were repatriated to the UK.
Mr Dergoul and another detainee Jamal al-Harith, received a share in a £20 million payout by ministers in 2010.
Originally known as Ronald Fiddler before his conversion, al-Harith is thought to have travelled to Syria and joined ISIS in April 2014 and was reportedly killed in battle, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Mr Dergoul and another detainee Jamal al-Harith, (pictured) received a share in a £20 million payout by ministers in 2010. Originally known as Ronald Fiddler before his conversion, al-Harith is thought to have travelled to Syria and joined ISIS
Emwazi is thought to have been a key member of a West London gang of young extremists, which included Bilal al-Berjawi and Mohammed Sakr, both killed in drone strikes while fighting for al-Shabaab in Somalia.
Around a year after Emwazi's trip to Portugal, the Kuwaiti born IT worker disappeared and is thought to have made his way through Europe to Syria.
He allegedly trekked across the mountain ranges of Europe and was allegedly 'detained by the authorities of various nations on at least two occasions' before he made to Syria, according to ISIS's propaganda magazine Dabiq.
In January 2016, ISIS confirmed the death of their notorious propaganda figure by including a lengthy tribute to him in their magazine, Dabiq.
Known as Abu Muharib al-Yemeni, Emwazi, a member of the Bedoon, was praised in the article as an 'honourable brother' who once gave away a concubine to an injured fellow fighter.
'His harshness towards the kuffar (non-believers) was manifested through deeds that enraged all the nations, religions, and factions of kuffar, the entire world bearing witness to this,'
The magazine article also described how Emwazi had been interviewed on several occasions by security services when he tried to leave the UK.
'During the interrogation, Abū Muhārib would present himself as unintelligent, as was his method when dealing with intelligence agencies. The Prophet said, 'War is deception',' it claimed.