Kurdish fighters capture last two British ISIS 'Beatles'

Adjust Comment Print

James Foley was killed on August 19, 2014, after being held hostage for several months. The U.S. government says Emwazi's British cell beheaded at least 27 hostages.

Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, believed to have been part of Islamic State's brutal executions gang, were detained by US-allied Kurdish militia fighters in January, the New York Times (NYT) said.

An official with the main Kurdish force in Syria says USA -backed fighters have captured a British extremist last month trying to flee to Turkey.

The men were the last at-large members of a group of ISIS fighters from the United Kingdom dubbed "The Beatles" for their conspicuous British accents. The IS group cell was behind a series of videotaped beheadings. "He was trying to escape to Turkey in coordination with his friends and contacts on the Turkish side", he said.

In an Associated Press report, Air Force Col. John Thomas, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said American officials have been able to interrogate the two detainees.

She says "their crimes are beyond imagination".

The pair's arrest follows a four-month SDF-spearheaded operation that culminated in mid-October with the retaking of Raqqa, which had been the inner sanctum of the "caliphate" declared by IS in 2014.

IS' territories in Iraq were also captured by Baghdad forces late past year.

The news of the capture of two infamous British members of an Islamic State militant cell commonly dubbed "The Beatles", and known for beheading hostages, hit close to home in South Florida, since journalist Steven Sotloff of Pinecrest was one of their most high-profile victims.

Big Parade to Show Trump's 'Fondness for Military,' Mattis Says
Mark Hertling told TIME that a military parade goes against US democratic traditions. "And I don't think that's been announced". A military parade would be fun, would honor our vets and would remind the world that America is a superpower and proud of it.


Asked if they would be prosecuted and if so where they might face trial Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway said: "We are still considering options regarding el-Sheikh and Kotey, but rest assured our intention is to hold anyone accountable who commits acts like those they are alleged to have committed".

The U.S. has been training the SDF in border and internal security, including how to screen individuals and determine if they are foreign fighters or other enemies hiding in the general population. The US State Department sanctioned Kotey in January 2017, saying he was a guard for the "Beatles" and "likely engaged in the group's executions and exceptionally cruel torture methods, including electronic shock and waterboarding".

"I am glad they have been hunted down and now is time for them to be held to account and pay the price for their barbaric crimes".

Bethany Haines, whose father David was killed in 2014 after being held captive for 18 months, said she hoped the pair's detention could bring some closure for relatives of those murdered.

"The first thought was relief, finally to know that the people that were involved in my dad's murder have been caught and will sort of serve some justice", she told Britain's ITV television. "I think that they should be locked up with the key thrown away and never to be released". An alternative, backed by Tobias Ellwood, the junior defence minister, is the International Criminal Court...

"Given the scale of foreign fighters, we should consider an agreed worldwide process involving The Hague", he told The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"This is the beginning of a process that will bring them eventually, hopefully, to a trial", he told Sky News.

"What I'm looking for is justice and Guantanamo is a denial of justice", Henin told AP on Friday. "What I want is a trial and a trial potentially that I can attend, so rather, a trial in London rather than one in Kobani in northern Syria".

Comments