Whin­ing in cap­tiv­ity, the ISIS ‘Bea­tles’

With sick­en­ing nerve, ji­hadi tor­tur­ers claim THEY won’t get fair trial

Daily Mail - - News - By Vanessa Allen by Amer­i­can of­fi­cials since their cap­ture and State Depart­ment doc­u­ments ac­cuse them of hor­rific crimes. El­sheikh, whose fam­ily came to Bri­tain from Su­dan when he was a child, trav­elled to Syria in 2012 and al­legedly joined Al Qaeda bef

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

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