IS ‘Beatles’ charged in US over hostages’ deaths


Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee ElsheikhPicture copyright

Picture caption

Alexanda Kotey (left) and El Shafee Elsheikh had been captured by Syrian Kurdish forces

Two ex-British alleged Islamic State (IS) suspects have been charged within the US with terrorism offences over the killing of 4 American hostages.

Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh are accused of belonging to an IS cell dubbed “The Beatles” concerned in kidnappings in Iraq and Syria.

The pair are being held in FBI custody and can seem in a US federal court docket in Virginia later.

The lads, beforehand in US army custody in Iraq, deny the costs.

US Assistant Lawyer Basic John Demers stated the costs had been “the results of a few years of onerous work in pursuit of justice” for the 4 People who died – James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Kayla Mueller and Peter Kassig.

He added: “These males will now be introduced earlier than a United States court docket to face justice for the wicked acts alleged towards them within the indictment.”

The fees carry a most penalty of life in jail.

They’re alleged to have been members of an IS gang liable for the dying of hostages in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

The victims – who included American journalists and UK and US support employees – had been beheaded and their deaths filmed and broadcast on social media.

Kotey and Elsheikh had been a part of the IS cell nicknamed by hostages after the Nineteen Sixties pop group as a result of their British accents.

One other member, Mohammed Emwazi, referred to as “Jihadi John” died in a drone strike in 2016.

The lads, from west London, had been beforehand stripped of their UK nationality.

The US sought the UK’s assist in the case however till not too long ago a authorized struggle over using the dying penalty hampered cooperation.

Final month, the US made clear Kotey and Elsheikh wouldn’t be executed if discovered responsible.

Step in the direction of closure

This can be a big growth on this case.

These two Londoners had been captured two years in the past by Kurdish forces and handed over to US custody in Iraq, the place they have been for the previous 12 months.

They deny torturing and murdering hostages – however that’s what they’re accused of.

They’re being delivered to a US court docket in Virginia, close to Washington DC.

Their look will come as a step in the direction of closure for the households of those that had been killed – in some circumstances beheaded in movies on social media – in Iraq and Syria.

IS as soon as managed 88,000 sq km (34,000 sq miles) of territory stretching from western Syria to japanese Iraq and imposed its brutal rule on virtually eight million folks.

The liberation of that territory uncovered the magnitude of the abuses inflicted by the jihadist group, together with abstract killings, torture, amputations, ethno-sectarian assaults, rape and sexual slavery imposed on ladies and ladies. A whole lot of mass graves containing the stays of hundreds of individuals have been found.

UN investigators have concluded that IS militants dedicated acts that will quantity to conflict crimes, crimes towards humanity and genocide.