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ISIS ‘Beatles’ Members Captured by Syrian Kurds

ISIS ‘Beatles’ Members Captured by Syrian Kurds

Friday, 9 February, 2018 - 10:45
A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). (AFP)
Asharq Al-Awsat
The last two remaining British members of an ISIS terrorist cell, known as “the Beatles”, were captured by Syrian Kurdish fighters.

The members are infamous for their role in the torture and killings of western hostages, said US officials on Thursday.

Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh are part of a four-member group dubbed the “Beatles” for their English accents.

A separate US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Syrian Democratic Forces had captured the two in eastern Syria in early January.

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

“We are looking to exploit real-time intelligence. But so far nothing of a grand nature has been obtained,” Thomas said.

He said the militants could be intentionally providing incorrect information or were not up to date on the latest information, so a thorough analysis was underway.

The US official did not give any information on the condition of the two or what would happen to them.

The British foreign ministry declined to confirm the capture.

"We don't comment on individual cases or ongoing investigations," a spokesperson said.

The US State Department sanctioned Kotey in January 2017, saying he was a guard for the “Beatles” and “likely engaged in the group’s executions and exceptionally cruel torture methods, including electronic shock and waterboarding.”

Kotey had also acted as a recruiter and was responsible for recruiting several British nationals to join the terror group, the State Department said.

The State Department sanctioned Elsheikh in March 2017, saying he was “said to have earned a reputation for waterboarding, mock executions, and crucifixions while serving as an ISIS jailer.”

Among the other two members of the "Beatles" group, Mohammed Emwazi -- "Jihadi John" -- was killed in 2015 in a drone strike by the US-led coalition fighting ISIS.

The fourth member of the gang, Aine Davis, is being held in Turkey.

Overall, the group handled more than 20 foreign hostages during the 2014-2015 period, earning a reported millions of dollars in ransom payments.

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