Alexanda Kotey (left) and El Shafee El-Sheikh (right), during an audition that took place in 2018.
El Shafee El-Sheikh, member of the cruels ” Beatles” of the armed group Islamic State (IS), a cell specializing in the capture, torture and execution of Western hostages, was sentenced to life in prison by a US court on Friday.
The 34-year-old man, sporting a beard, large glasses and a mask, remained impassive as the decision was announced in a court in Alexandria, near the capital Washington.
The actions of El Shafee El-Sheikh were horrific, barbaric, brutal, cruel and, of course, criminal, said Federal Judge T.S. Ellis, while stating his decision: eight concurrent life sentences for the murders of four Americans.
His lawyers have indicated their intention to appeal.
He was arrested by Syrian Kurdish forces in 2018. He has since been found guilty in April by a popular jury, following a harrowing trial that exposed the Beatles' sadism. /p>
A 12-person jury deliberated less than six hours over two days before convicting him of his role in the deaths of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid worker Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller.
This trial exposed the atrocious human rights crimes you have committed, said Diane Foley, the journalist's mother, eight years to the day after ISIS released the video showing his beheading. Your hate crimes did not prevail.
El Shafee El-Sheikh was arrested along with another alleged Beatles member, Alexanda Kotey , a 38-year-old former British national.
Both men had been handed over to US forces in Iraq and sent to the United States in 2020 for trial.
Alexanda Kotey pleaded guilty in September 2021, and was sentenced to life imprisonment last April by the same judge, T.S. Ellis.
Another alleged member of the Beatles, Aine Davis, 38, was charged and presented to the British justice the last week in London, after his expulsion from Turkey.
The most well-known of the group, Briton Mohammed Emwazi, alias Jihadi John, was killed by an American drone in Syria in 2015. He appeared in multiple videos showing the throats cut.
Assets in Syria between 2012 and 2015, the four members of the Beatles, all radicalized in London, are accused of having supervised the detention of at least 27 journalists and humanitarian workers from the United States, the United Kingdom, from France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Japan, New Zealand and Russia.
The nickname The Beatles had been given by Western hostages to this group of jihadists with a British accent.
This group had gained a sinister notoriety by staging the ;execution of captives in excruciating propaganda videos.
At the trial of El Shafee El-Sheikh, 10 former European and Syrian hostages described the atrocities suffered by the hands of the Beatles, such as waterboarding, electric shock or mock execution.
This week British police revealed that building the case against the Beatles s #x27;was akin to 10 years building a puzzle out of tiny little pieces.
We followed a path of little breadcrumbs, fragments in fact, from #x27;a huge amount of other investigations, the head of the London police's counter-terrorism division, Richard Smith, told reporters on Wednesday.