2 suspected Daesh militants from UK held in Syria, US officials say
10 February, 2018, 06:45
Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, part of a group of four ISIS jihadists known as the "Beatles" due to their British accents, were detained in mid-January by the USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), American officials told The New York Times on February 8. In videos released by Islamic State (IS), the masked, black-clad militant brandishing a knife and speaking with an English accent appears to have carried out the beheadings of hostages including Americans and Britons.
A Frenchmen who survived detention by Islamic State fighters says he wants justice, not revenge, now that two members of the notorious insurgent cell dubbed "The Beatles" have been captured.
Aine Davis is being detained in Turkey on terror charges, while El-Shafee el-Sheikh is also believed to be held by the SDF. And he characterized their capture as "certainly a big deal for America" as well as the families of the people the two men killed. "One of them is Alexanda Kotey", Redur Khalil, a spokesperson and senior official in the Syrian Democratic Forces told AFP.
The cell was believed to be behind the killing of American journalist James Foley and numerous Western aid workers.
The US official did not give any information on the condition of the two or what would happen to them.
"We are still considering options regarding el-Sheikh and Kotey, but rest assured our intention is to hold anyone accountable who commits acts like those they are alleged to have committed", said Major Adrian Rakine-Galloway.
She says "their crimes are beyond imagination".
The leader of the notorious gang, Mohammed Emwazi (also known as "Jihadi John"), who appeared in videos in which British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning and others were beheaded, was killed in a United States air strike in 2015.
That victory was the doom of the jihadist proto-state, the last pockets of which were then retaken within weeks by the SDF and other forces in Iraq and Syria.
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He said that Kotey was being questioned but did not specify who by.
One former hostage has said the pair should be brought before a British court, while the mother of murdered USA journalist James Foley said she would like to see them face justice in the United States.
The capture of the last two members of the "Beatles", who are thought responsible for murdering 27 hostages, has been independently confirmed by the Guardian and the Reuters news agency.
Ms Haines said she would like them to be "locked up with the key thrown away" and is hopeful their capture will bring closure to bereaved families.
The Home Secretary can deprive someone of their British citizenship if they are satisfied taking the measure is "conducive to the public good", such as in national security cases.
Elsheikh, 29, and Kotey, 34, both came from London and are said to have earned a reputation for engaging in Islamic State's "exceptionally cruel torture methods", including waterboarding.
But Mr Williamson's deputy at Defence Tobias Ellwood suggested they should be put on trial for war crimes at The Hague.
He said that so far the future of the detainees is undetermined and it's not clear what the process will be for bringing them to justice.
"What I'm looking for is justice and Guantanamo is a denial of justice", Henin told AP on Friday. "What I want is a trial and a trial potentially that I can attend, so rather, a trial in London rather than one in Kobani in northern Syria".
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