ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Two British Islamic State terror suspects known as the “Beatles” were indicted in the torturing and beheading of American aid workers and journalists among others once held hostage in Syria, according to court documents that went public Wednesday.
El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey are two of four men dubbed “the Beatles” by the hostages they held captive, because of their British accents. They previously had been in military custody in Iraq and are expected to make their first appearance in the afternoon in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, Fox News reported.
Two ISIS militants, part of group referred to by hostages as “The Beatles,” charged with deaths and beheadings of multiple Americans in Syria. https://t.co/ngGELiuvlH
— U.S. Attorney EDVA (@EDVAnews) October 7, 2020
The pair had been linked to the kidnapping and torturous killings of American aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller and journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley.
In a statement, relatives of Mueller, Foley, Sotloff and Kassig said the transfer “will be the first step in the pursuit of justice for the alleged horrific human rights crimes against these four young Americans.”
Families of James Foley, Peter Kassig, Kayla Mueller, and Steven Sotloff welcome move to try ISIS "Beatles" in the United Stateshttps://t.co/zYqbbIG05p
— JamesFoleyFoundation (@JamesFoleyFund) October 7, 2020
The Justice Department announced the charges on Wednesday morning. They include conspiracy to commit hostage-taking, resulting in death; four counts of hostage-taking resulting in death for Foley, Mueller, Sotloff and Kassig; conspiracy to murder United States citizens outside of the United States; conspiracy to provide material support or resources to terrorists – hostage-taking and murder – resulting in death; and conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, resulting in death, according to Fox.
“Many around the world are familiar with the barbaric circumstances of their deaths – but we will not remember these Americans for the way they died, we will remember them for the way they lived their good and decent lives,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.