United States: one of the “Beatles” of the Islamic State group Alexanda Kotey sentenced to life

Exemplary punishment. One of the members of a group of Islamic State (IS) kidnappers nicknamed the “Beatles” was sentenced on Friday to life imprisonment by a federal court in the United States. Former British national Alexanda Kotey (38) pleaded guilty in September and admitted responsibility for the death of four American hostages in Syria, and more broadly in the kidnapping and torture of around twenty Westerners.

Another member of this cell, arrested with him by Syrian Kurdish forces in 2018, was convicted in April after a grueling trial. El Shafee el-Sheikh will be set on his sentence this summer.

Their assassination videos had shocked the whole world.

Implicated in the murders of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, killed in 2014, and that of humanitarian workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller, Alexanda Kotey appeared in September 2021 in federal court in Alexandria, near Washington, for complicity in kidnappings and murders. The jihadist had finally pleaded guilty, after having pleaded not guilty for a long time.

Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee el-Sheikh were captured in January 2018 by Syrian Kurdish forces and then handed over to the US military in Iraq. They were extradited to the United States from Iraq in October 2020 to appear before American justice. The two jihadists grew up in the United Kingdom, where they became radicalized, before joining IS in Syria in 2012. Their videos of the assassinations, broadcast by IS for propaganda purposes, shocked the whole world.

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