ISIS’s British Beatles “will be spared the death penalty by America so they can stand trial”

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America is ready to drop the threat of the death penalty in order to bring Britain’s “Beatles of ISIS” to justice, it was reported last night.

El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey are accused of belonging to a four-man execution cell in Syria named after the group by their captives.

Elsheikh and Kotey also admitted their involvement in the detention of US aid worker Kayla Mueller, who was sexually assaulted and killed after being held hostage for three years.

Both are currently held by the United States in Iraq. The steps to take them to the United States for a trial have been blocked for months.

Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh are accused of belonging to a four-man execution cell in Syria named after the group by their captives.

A British Supreme Court ruling in March ruled it illegal for the UK to share evidence with Washington without seeking assurance that the two men, accused of beheading Westerners, did not would not face the death penalty.

It was not something the United States was prepared to give. But the Washington Post reported a possible change in the situation last night.

Sources told the newspaper that U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr discussed the move in the White House, hoping it would make it easier for Britain to share crucial evidence.

The Pentagon has pressured the US Department of Justice to ensure that the two men, both stripped of their British nationality, leave Iraq and stand trial in America.

FBI agents are said to be in London while a federal prosecutor was in Iraq to gather further evidence on Kotey and Elsheikh.

Both admitted to being involved in the detention of American aid worker Kayla Mueller, who was taken hostage from 2015 to 2018, sexually abused and killed.

Kotey and Elsheikh had previously denied ever meeting the Mueller, but changed their story in interview tapes obtained by NBC News.

ISIS reportedly demanded 5 million euros from Mueller's family, telling them they would send `` a photo of Kayla's corpse '' if their requests were not met.

ISIS reportedly demanded 5 million euros from Mueller’s family, telling them they would send “a photo of Kayla’s corpse” if their demands were not met.

Kayla Mueller was taken hostage in Syria, where she was sexually assaulted and tortured before her death in 2015

Kayla Mueller was taken hostage in Syria, where she was sexually assaulted and tortured before her death in 2015

“She was in a big room, it was dark and she was alone, and… she was very scared,” said Elsheikh, a member of the cruel execution team known as the “Beatles” because of their British accents.

“I myself took an email from her,” he admitted, meaning he got an email address ISIS could use to demand a ransom from the family. Kotey said: “She was alone in a room that no one would enter. “

ISIS reportedly demanded 5 million euros from Mueller’s family, telling them they would send “a photo of Kayla’s corpse” if their demands were not met.

Mueller, an international aid worker, was kidnapped in Syria in 2013. While in captivity, she was raped by former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, US officials said.

Baghdadi committed suicide with a suicide vest as US commandos closed in on him in a daring raid in October last year.

Family members of Kotey and Elsheikh’s victims, including Mueller’s parents Marsha and Carl, ran an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for the duo to be brought to justice in America.

“We implore President Trump, Attorney General William P. Barr and the Department of Justice to bring detainees to the United States for trial,” the families wrote. “There is no nation on Earth better at bringing terrorists to justice than the United States,” they added.

Families say U.S. federal court is the best place to expose the duo’s heinous crimes to the world.

“They horrified so many people so much,” Marsha Mueller told NBC News. “They must be brought here. They must be prosecuted. “

“The other thing that’s really important to me about this is that I need some information about Kayla. We know so little about what happened to him, ”she said.

She added: “I think these two have more information than they share with us. And I believe we would know more if they were brought here.

ISIS said Mueller was killed near Raqa in February 2015 in an air raid by the US-led international coalition against the jihadists, although the exact circumstances of her death are unclear.

Her body was never found, leaving a glimmer of hope for her parents that she might still be alive.

Elsheikh also admitted to torturing US hostage James Foley, who was kidnapped by ISIS while working as a freelance war correspondent during the civil war in Syria.

US journalist James Foley (pictured) was kidnapped by ISIS while working as a freelance war correspondent during Syria's civil war

US journalist James Foley (pictured) was kidnapped by ISIS while working as a freelance war correspondent during Syria’s civil war

Elsheikh said that Foley sometimes subjected himself to beatings to make sure hostages were given enough food.

“If the guard asked, ‘Is the food sufficient? Some of the other prisoners were very shy. It was always he who said, “It’s not enough,” Elsheikh said.

He also said: “I didn’t choke Jim.

“If I choked Jim, I would say I choked him. I mean, I – I already hit him. I have already hit most of the prisoners.

Foley was held by ISIS for two years before being video executed in August 2014.

Kotey and Elsheikh, both from London, were captured in January 2018 by Syrian Kurdish forces. They are involved in the killing of ISIS hostages alongside Mohammed Emwazi, known as Jihadi John, who was killed in 2015, and Aine Davis, who is in prison in Turkey.

Emwazi has appeared in a number of videos in which hostages, including British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, were killed.

Lawyer William Barr said he could refuse death penalty for ISIS 'Beatles' couple who admitted involvement in the detention of assaulted US aid worker Kayla Mueller sexually and killed after being held hostage for three years.

Sources suggest that US Attorney General Bill Barr has discussed the idea of ​​dropping the White House threat of the death penalty, hoping it would make it easier for Britain to share crucial evidence.

Barr’s decision marks “a fundamental shift in the discussion,” a senior official told the Post.

“It was the first breakthrough we have had in a long time. The meaning was, “We’re going to get there. We are going to move the diplomatic piece ”.

The UK government wants the pair to stand trial in the US, where officials believe there is a more realistic chance of prosecution than in the UK.

But the Supreme Court ruling, after a case brought by Elsheikh’s mother, meant the men risked being sent to Guantanamo Bay.

The court said that then Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s decision to share evidence with U.S. officials without sentencing assurances violated data protection laws.

The United States had said it was Britain’s responsibility to prosecute the men before they were stripped of their nationality in 2018.

Last year, US forces uprooted them from a Syrian prison as “top targets” in a Turkish invasion of northern Syria that threatened to further destabilize the region.

A Friday deadline for moving them forward had been set by the Defense Ministry, but Barr’s intervention appears to have secured an extension for now.

An anonymous official said: “The Defense Ministry does not want to detain them indefinitely in Iraq or elsewhere. The temporary facility in which they are now was never designed to house detainees for long periods of time.

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