Whining in captivity, the ISIS ‘Beatles’
With sickening nerve, jihadi torturers claim THEY won’t get fair trial
TWO of the British jihad- ists nicknamed the ‘Beatles’ sought to blame the West for Islamic State terrorism last night and complained that the UK had treated them unfairly.
In an extraordinary interview, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh said the decision to strip them of their British citizenship was illegal and meant they could face torture abroad.
The pair, who are in captivity in Syria, also claimed they would never be able to receive a fair trial.
Kotey, who has been accused of ‘exceptionally cruel torture’ while serving as an IS jailer, said the beheadings of Western hostages including British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning were ‘regrettable’.
The executions were used in propaganda videos for the terrorist group, adding to the agony of the victims’ families. But Kotey, 34, blamed Western governments for failing to negotiate with IS, saying other hostages had been released after ransoms were paid.
The two men appeared to admit their involvement with the jihadist group, but claimed that accusations that they were members of the ‘Beatles’ murder squad were ‘propaganda’.
Kotey claimed many IS fighters disagreed with the execution of hostages, saying: ‘I didn’t see any benefit. It was something that was regrettable.’
Bethany Haines, 20, whose aid worker father David, 44, was beheaded by the group in 2014, said: ‘I don’t think regrettable covers torturing and murdering innocent people. As for them not having a fair trial, they should count themselves lucky they’re even getting one.
‘If it was up to me they’d be forced into orange jumpsuits and left to rot in Guantanamo Bay. They lost all their rights to a fair trial the minute they carried out their disgusting acts of violence.’
The men, from West London, were captured by Kurdish militia in eastern Syria in January and have been held in Kobani in the north of the country.
They were led from their makeshift jail in handcuffs and blindfolds yesterday to speak to a journalist from the Associated Press.
Unshackled and served tea during the interview, they were given a smartphone at one point so they could read media coverage of their capture and the row over whether they should be returned to Britain for trial.
Elsheikh, 29, a former child refugee accused of carrying out mock executions and crucifixions while serving as an IS jailer, said Britain’s ‘illegal’ decision to strip him of his citizenship exposed him to possible ‘rendition and torture’.
In a display of self-pity that was grotesquely ironic in the light of the fate of IS hostages, he complained that he faced ‘being taken to any foreign land and treated in
any way and having nobody to vouch for you’.
Elsheikh denounced ‘ propaganda’ that he claimed meant he and Kotey could never receive a fair trial, saying: ‘No fair trial when I am the “Beatle” in the media.’
The men said a trial at the International Court of Justice might be ‘fairer’ than one in the US.
Both men have been interrogated a reputation for waterboarding, mock executions and crucifixions while serving as an [IS] jailer’.
The documents said Kotey, from Paddington in West London, who converted to Islam in his 20s, ‘likely engaged in the group’s executions and exceptionally cruel torture methods, including electronic shock and waterboarding’.
Their capture prompted an international row about where they should stand trial. British ministers fear that suspected foreign fighters allowed back to this country might walk free from court because of the difficulty of collecting evidence against them.
Hostages held by IS described a group of four Londoners who they nicknamed the ‘Beatles’ because of their English accents and said they were among the most feared and brutal jailers.
Kotey and Elsheikh were dubbed the ‘Ringo’ and ‘George’ of the group. The murderer nicknamed ‘Jihadi John’ – Mohammed Emwazi, 27 – is believed to have been killed in a coalition airstrike in Raqqa in 2015. Aine Davis, the ‘Paul’ of the group, was jailed in Turkey last May.
Self-pitying: S lf it i Al Alexanda d Kt Kotey, l left, ft and d El Sh Shafee f Elsheikh sip tea and smile after being taken to a news interview in Syria yesterday