One of the Islamic State (IS) kidnappers, the “Beatles” (because of their English accent) was convicted on Thursday, September 2, of complicity in the kidnapping and murder of Western hostages in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, USA. Attorney attorney Dennis Fitzpatrick said the families of the four Americans affected had accepted the change in security strategy.
Alexanda Cote, a 37-year-old former British national, is not guilty in court along with El Shafi L-Sheikh, 33, another member of the IS kidnapping group. They were charged with the murders of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff in 2014, as well as the murders of humanitarian workers Peter Kasik and Kayla Mர்ller – the torture, rape and murder of a young American humanist kidnapped in Aleppo (Syria) in August 2013.
Alexanda Cote, who pleaded guilty, faces several life sentences without the right to pre-trial release. Judge DS Ellis, who presided over the hearing, will deliver the verdict on March 4, 2022.
He contracted with the government to provide all the information he had about his activities in Syria. The agreement also states that he will be extradited to the United Kingdom after 15 years in prison, where he will also be prosecuted for kidnapping and hostage murder.
Lost British nationality
Alexandra Kotte and El Shafi L-Sheikh were deported from Iraq to the United States in October 2020 to represent US justice. They were captured by Syrian Kurdish forces in January 2018 and later handed over to the U.S. military in Iraq.
Both grew up in the United Kingdom, where they became extremists before joining the ISIS organization in Syria in 2012. Alexandre Kotte explained in a statement that he had joined Syria to fight against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. “The Islamic view of armed jihad is very valuable and reasonable”. He later joined the IS unit responsible for abducting and detaining non-Muslim hostages.
London, unwilling to judge him in his territory, snatched away his British nationality. The two could be extradited to the United States only after US officials assured London that they would not seek the death penalty in the case.
Detained in a “beetle” in Turkey
From 2012 to 2015 he was accused of kidnapping American, European, Japanese and Syrian hostages, and of torturing and killing victims, especially beheadings. The videos of the killings spread for the purpose of ISIS propaganda shocked the world.
The hostages oversaw the detention sites and coordinated rescue talks via email. They would have been involved as well “Continued acts of physical and psychological violence against hostages”, According to American Justice.
Mohammed Emwazi, nicknamed “Jihadi John”, was killed in a US airstrike in Syria in November 2015, and Ain Davis, the fourth “Beatle”, was arrested in Turkey in 2017 after being convicted of terrorism.
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