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Isis 'Beatles' charged in US with deaths of Western hostages
7 October 2020, 16:16 | Updated: 7 October 2020, 18:03
British suspected terrorists Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh have been charged with the deaths of Western hostages, the US Justice Department said.
The pair are suspected of being members of 'The Beatles' - a British group of Isis executioners in Syria and Iraq.
Elsheikh and Kotey were previously stripped of their British nationality.
John Demers, assistant attorney general for National Security, announced the charges during a press conference in the US on Wednesday.
Mr Demers said today's announcement was "the result of many years of hard work in pursuit of justice" for the four Americans who were murdered by the terror cell - James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Kayla Mueller and Peter Kassig.
The charges they are each facing are;
-Conspiracy to commit hostage taking resulting in death
-Four counts of hostage taking resulting in death
-Conspiracy to murder United States citizens outside of the United States
-Conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists - hostage taking and murder - resulting in death
-Conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organisation resulting in death
He added: "Kotey and Elsheikh were members of the notoriously brutal Isis hostage-taking cell that became known as 'the Beatles' - a name their captives gave to them because of their British accents.
"The defendants are charged with terrorism offences related to hostage-taking and killing of four Americans, as well as citizens of Great Britain and Japan."
Demers said he was "pleased" to confirm Kotey and Elsheikh are in FBI custody and are due to appear in federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia.
He added: "Today is a good day, but it is also a solemn one.
"Today, we remember the four innocent Americans whose lives were taken by Isis."
He said both Kotey and Elsheikh had "underestimated American resolve to obtain justice for our fellow citizens who are harmed or killed by terrorists anywhere in the world".
He said the pair will now come before a court in the US to "face justice for the depraved acts alleged against them in the indictment".
Referring to the death of the terror cell's alleged ringleader Mohammed Emwazi, known as Jihadi John, in a US air strike in 2015, Mr Demers said he had "faced a different kind of American resolve - the mighty reach of our military, which successfully targeted him in an air strike several years ago."
The pair were
More to follow...