Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Syrian Kurds capture two British Islamic State militants

Syrian Kurds capture two British Islamic State militants

Two notorious British ISIS members believed to be involved in the brutal torture and beheadings of Western hostages are being detained by U.S. -backed rebel forces in Syria, U.S. officials confirmed.

Britain has stripped two Islamic State hostage-killers from London of their British citizenship and is not expected to try to bring them to the United Kingdom to stand trial, The Times understands.

According to USA officials, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh were detained last month.

It remains unclear exactly when Kotey and Elsheikh were captured, but American officials were informed in mid-January that the duo might have been detained by the SDF.

The men were reportedly identified by fingerprints and other biometric means.

Among the other two members of the "Beatles" group, Mohammed Emwazi - "Jihadi John" - was killed in 2015 in a drone strike by the US-led coalition fighting ISIS. Among them: American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and American aid worker Peter Kassig.

He is believed to have lived in West London until 2009 when he travelled to Gaza in an aid convoy.

She said she would like to see the British men in a U.S. court - however the most important thing was that justice was served.

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A fourth member of the so-called "Beatles", Aine Davis, is now imprisoned in Turkey on terrorism charges.

Ms Haines said the capture of Kotey and Elsheikh had brought back painful memories and emotions three-and-a-half years after her father was murdered on camera.

The group of four British men were radicalised in the United Kingdom before travelling to Syria, where they became infamous for their high-profile executions of Western hostages.

- Alexander Kotey, 34: Half Ghanaian and half-Cypriot and grew up as a Greek Orthodox Christian in the Paddington area of London.

The State Department told The Times that Kotey "likely engaged in the group's executions and exceptionally cruel torture methods, including electronic shock and waterboarding".

The state department says Kotey was also responsible for recruiting several British nationals to fight for Islamic State, also known as Isis. Alexanda Kotey and Elshafee Elsheikh were first unmasked by BuzzFeed News and the Washington Post in 2016.

He left two young children in Britain to travel to Syria.

The SDF, which is spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG militia, has consistently accused Turkey of supporting IS militants in northern Syria, where the US -led coalition has helped the SDF to drive the jihadists from swathes of territory. While rumours have surfaced repeatedly over the past three years of Baghdadi's death or wounding in airstrikes, USA counterterrorism officials believe he is alive and most likely hiding in the Sunni border areas straddling Iraq and Syria.

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