'Beatle' to admit terror beheading charges

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

One of two British men charged with joining the Islamic State group and conspiring to torture and behead American and European hostages in Syria is scheduled to plead guilty.

Federal court records show a change of plea hearing has been scheduled for Thursday in US District Court for Alexanda Amon Kotey.

He is one of four Islamic State members who were dubbed "the Beatles" by their captives because of their British accents.

Kotey and another man, El Shafee Elsheikh, were brought to the US last year to face charges.

Court documents do not indicate the specific charge or charges to which Kotey is expected to plead.

The indictment charges them in connection with the deaths of four American hostages - journalist James Foley, journalist Steven Sotloff and aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller - as well as European and Japanese nationals who also were held captive.

The Justice Department, in order to obtain their extradition, promised neither defendant would face a death sentence.

A third Beatle, Mohammed Emwazi, also known as "jihadi John", was killed in a 2015 drone strike. A fourth member is serving a prison sentence in Turkey.

The indictment says Kotey and Elsheikh radicalised in London and left for Syria in 2012 as "leading participants in a brutal hostage-taking scheme" that targeted American and European citizens and that involved murders, mock executions, shocks with tasers, physical restraints and other brutal acts.

Prosecutors say the men worked closely with a chief spokesman for Islamic State who reported to the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed in a US military operation last year.

The two were captured in Syria in 2018 by the US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces while trying to escape to Turkey.

Elsheikh is scheduled to go on trial in January.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting