Hostage: I want to see ‘Beatles’ IS pair on trial

A former Islamic State hostage has said he hopes the capture of two British IS fighters – part of a group nicknamed The Beatles – will see them go on trial.

Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh were detained by Kurdish forces in Syria and have reportedly revealed “valuable information” on the IS leadership and structure.

The Londoners were the last members of a group of four Britons who are believed to have tortured and beheaded dozens of people.

The group, which also included “Jihadi John” Mohammed Emwazi and Aine Davis, was nicknamed The Beatles by hostages because their English accents set them apart from other foreign fighters.

Alexanda Kotey

Image: Kotey is said to have waterboarded hostages

Nicolas Henin, a French journalist who was held captive by Islamic State for 10 months, said the time had come for real justice.

He told Sky News: “They were part of a group of four British jihadis that we nicknamed ‘The Beatles’, as they were, especially at the end of my captivity, responsible for us as a group of about two dozen western hostages.”

He continued: “This is the beginning of a process that will bring them eventually, hopefully, to a trial. Justice is just what I want.

“Guantanamo is a denial of justice. Guantanamo was opened 16 years ago. There hasn’t been a single trial there.

“What I want is a trial and a trial potentially that I can attend, so rather, a trial in London rather than one in Kobani in northern Syria,” he added.

:: ‘The Beatles’ IS fighters captured in Syria

Mohammed Emwazi

Image: Mohammed Emwazi, aka Jihadi John, was killed by a drone strike in 2015

Ringleader Emwazi was killed in a drone strike in 2015 and Davis is in jail in Turkey after being convicted last year on terrorism charges.

Kotey and Elsheikh were captured in early January by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

Relatives of some of the cell’s other alleged victims echoed Mr Henin’s call for the pair to face trial.

Bethany Haines, whose father David was killed in 2014 after being held captive for 18 months, said she hoped the pair’s detention could bring some closure for bereaved families.

“I got a call late last night to say that they had been captured and the first thought was relief, finally to know that the people that were involved in my dad’s murder have been caught and will sort of serve some justice,” she told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

She said she would like them to be “locked up with the key thrown away”.

Jim Foley, murdered by IS in 2014

Image: James Foley was murdered by Islamic State in 2014

The mother of James Foley, a US journalist who was beheaded by the cell, said she wanted the two men to be jailed for life.

“It doesn’t bring James back, but hopefully it protects others from this kind of crime,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“Their crimes are beyond imagination.”

Elsheikh, 29, is a former child refugee from Sudan who lived in White City, west London.

He is said to have “earned a reputation for waterboarding, mock executions, and crucifixions” while serving as jailer for IS , the US State Department said.

Islamic State flag

Image: The two Islamic State fighters were detained in Syria

He travelled to Syria in 2012 and first joined al Qaeda’s branch in the war-torn country.

Kotey, 34, from Paddington, was born in London and is reportedly a Queens Park Rangers fan.

The terrorist is believed to have helped recruit other Britons to fight for IS, which has been driven out of its Syria strongholds.

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He “likely engaged in the group’s executions and exceptionally cruel torture methods, including electronic shock and waterboarding”, as a guard for the cell, according to the US State Department.

Kotey also acted as a recruiter for IS and is responsible for enlisting several UK nationals to join the terrorist organisation.

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