Last of ISIS ‘Beatles’ caught
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.
A White Helmet carries one of the wounded yesterday