British extremists dubbed 'Beatles' captured on Iraq/Syria border, reviews

Saul Bowman
February 10, 2018

David Haines was murdered by the so-called "Beatles" cell of four British militants in 2014.

Appearing noticeably more gaunt than in previous pictures, 34-year-old Alexanda Kotey is shown in the custody of Kurdish forces in Syria after being captured last month.

United States officials reported that El Shafee Elsheikh was thought to be part of the terrorist organisation's brutal executions gang known as "the Beatles".

Officials told the Times that the men have been providing them with valuable information about the remaining ISIS support structure and leadership.

The four young men from west London, who were given their nickname by the hostages because of their British accents, were linked to a string of murders in Iraq and Syria.

Ringleader Mohammed Emwazi, known as Jihadi John, was killed in a 2015 airstrike in Syria.

The two men, part of a group of four ISIS fighters known as the "Beatles" due to their British accents are reportedly being questioned by USA forces in the region, a senior official confirmed to ABC News.

"This is the beginning of a process that will bring them eventually, hopefully, to a trial", he told Sky News. Justice is just what I want.

"Guantanamo is a denial of justice". There hasn't been a single trial there. The fourth man, Aine Davis, is reportedly in a Turkish prison on accusations of terrorism.


The NYT, citing unnamed USA officials, reported the two men were captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) close to the Syrian-Iraqi border.

Relatives of some of the group's other alleged victims echoed Mr Henin's call for the pair to face trial.

Diane Foley said she is hopeful that the development will lead to the capture of additional ISIS members and the recovery of her son's remains. The families will now have people to hold account for their loved ones death. "In my opinion, they shouldn't be breathing".

Colonel John Thomas, a spokesman for US Central Command, said US forces had assisted in identifying the terrorists and were interrogating them.

Centcom, the USA military headquarters in the Middle East, has confirmed to Sky News that the pair are being held by the Syrian Democratic Forces, but would not reveal where.

Mark Campbell, co-chairman of the Kurdish Solidarity Campaign, said he understood from sources in the YPG (Kurdistan People's Protection Units) that the arrests had taken place in the Deir ez-Zur region in the north east of Syria, towards the Iraq border.

According to the US State Department's terrorist designation, Kotey acted as a guard for the Beatles cell, and "likely engaged in the group's executions and exceptionally cruel torture methods, including electronic shock and waterboarding".

The state department says Kotey was also responsible for recruiting several British nationals to fight for Islamic State, also known as Isis.

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