Report: US Could Send ISIS Members to Guantanamo

Report: US Could Send ISIS Members to Guantanamo

Friday, 31 August, 2018 - 10:00
Alexanda Amon Kotey and El Shafee el-Sheikh. AFP photo
Asharq Al-Awsat
The Trump administration is considering sending some captured ISIS militants, including the two "Beatles," British citizens who took part in beheadings, to the military-run prison in Guantanamo, Cuba, NBC reported Thursday.

The prison could be used to jail indefinitely a number of "high-value" ISIS foreign militants captured in Iraq and Syria, while sending less important detainees whose governments won't accept them to an Iraqi-run prison, NBC said, citing unnamed US officials and European diplomats.

NBC said among those being considered for transfer are Alexanda Amon Kotey and El Shafee el-Sheikh, two survivors of a four-man ISIS unit that saw kidnapped foreign journalists and others tortured and beheaded.

The captives have been dubbed "The Beatles" for their British accents.

Moving newly captured militants to Guantanamo would mark a shift in US policy by the Trump administration: after having peaked at 780 detainees, the facility has not received a new prisoner since 2008.

Most detainees have been released, and the current population is 40.

A US military spokeswoman, Commander Sarah Higgins, had no comment about the NBC report, saying "there is no one identified for transfer to Guantanamo at this time."

The cases of Kotey and Sheikh have been controversial in Britain. 

According to unconfirmed reports, they were stripped of their British citizenship before they were captured in early 2018 in Syria, and the British government has made no effort to have them brought to Britain for trial.

British opponents of the death penalty have demanded that the US not be allowed to take control of them.

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