Last of ISIS ‘Bea­tles’ caught

The Weekend Australian - - WORLD -

LON­DON: The re­main­ing two mem­bers of the Bri­tish Is­lamic State cell dubbed “the Bea­tles” have been cap­tured in Syria.

Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee El­sheikh, who be­came ISIS hostage-tak­ers along­side Mo­hammed Emwazi, the group’s ring­leader who was known as Ji­hadi John, were de­tained by Kur­dish forces last month.

The group of ji­hadist jail­ers be­came known for their bru­tal­ity and Wash­ing­ton has claimed they were in­volved in the be­head­ing of more than 27 hostages. Western cap­tives who lived un­der their rule, which in­cluded wa­ter­board­ing and mock ex­e­cu­tions, nick­named them “the Bea­tles” be­cause they had Bri­tish ac­cents.

Emwazi, the ter­ror­ist filmed mur­der­ing hostages in­clud­ing James Fo­ley and Alan Hen­ning, was killed in a drone strike in 2015.

Aine Davies, the fourth mem- ber of the group, was jailed last May in Turkey for 7½ years.

The New York Times yes­ter­day re­ported that Kotey and El­sheikh were de­tained by the US-backed Syr­ian Demo­cratic Forces. US of­fi­cials have been given ac­cess to the pair and the news­pa­per cited a source who said they had pro­vided valu­able in­for­ma­tion about the re­main­ing Is­lamic State lead­er­ship.

Bri­tish in­tel­li­gence and mil­i­tary of­fi­cials were made aware of the cap­ture last month.

The pair could end up in Guan­tanamo Bay or another US jail.

El­sheikh’s younger brother Mah­moud, 19, was killed fight­ing for Is­lamic State in Iraq.

The cap­ture comes as Ta­jik­istan has granted amnesty to more than 100 na­tion­als fol­low­ing their re­turn home from Syria and Iraq, where they joined rad­i­cal Is­lamist groups.

AP

A White Hel­met car­ries one of the wounded yes­ter­day

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