Kuwait City (AFP) - The father of "Jihadi John" said in an interview published Wednesday that there was no proof that his son was the Islamic State executioner, adding there were a number of "false rumours" circulating.
"There is nothing that proves what is being circulated in the media, especially through video clips and footage, that the accused is my son Mohammed, who is being referred to as the alleged executioner of Daesh (Islamic State)," Jassem Emwazi told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas.
The daily said it spoke to the father of Kuwait-born Mohammed Emwazi at a secret location in his first media interview following accusations that his son is the jihadist who killed several Western hostages.
"I have a message to the Kuwaiti people that many of the rumours are false," he told the daily.
"Because I felt that some people have believed it, I have assigned a lawyer to defend me and to prove ... that what is being said is untrue," he said.
It was not clear why he appeared to be retracting statements reported earlier that he and his wife had recognised their son's voice.
His lawyer Salem al-Hashash said he would from Sunday file lawsuits against those who made accusations against Emwazi senior and his family.
Hashash said his client was interrogated by the interior ministry for three hours and released.
A lawyer had been appointed in Britain to defend family members there, Hashash said.
Mohammed Emwazi, the alleged executioner, was born in Kuwait to a stateless family of Iraqi origin. His parents moved to Britain in 1993 after their hopes of obtaining Kuwaiti citizenship were quashed.
Emwazi visited Kuwait several times, the last time between January 18 and April 26, 2010, Al-Qabas said.
A year later, he was denied entry to Kuwait after his name came up during investigations into attacks in Britain.
Media and experts have identified Emwazi as the Islamic State group militant believed to be responsible for beheading at least five Westerners.