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Final Isis pair from 'Beatles' murder squad are captured

09 February, 2018, 05:25 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • PABritish members of an Isis group nicknamed'The Beatles have been captured

Two British Islamic State fighters who were part of a notorious kidnapping cell dubbed "The Beatles" for their British accents have been captured in Syria, a U.S. defense official confirmed Thursday.

Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh - whose group slaughtered at least 27 prisoners - were detained by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in January.

The US State Department sanctioned Kotey in January 2017, saying he was a guard for the "Beatles" and "likely engaged in the group's executions and exceptionally cruel torture methods, including electric shock and waterboarding".

The US official did not give any information on the condition of the two or what would happen to them.

The men were part of a group of four ISIS jihadists known as the "Beatles" due to their British accents.

The alleged ringleader of the group was Mohammed Emwazi, dubbed Jihadi John, who was killed in an air strike in Syria in 2015.

Aine Davis was jailed in Turkey a year ago on terrorism charges, after being arrested near Istanbul in 2015.

The US state department says the four-man cell was responsible for beheading several Westerners.

U.S. officials were informed in mid-January that the militia might have captured the men, the newspaper reported, adding that the officials later confirmed their identities using fingerprints and other biometric measurements. "Jihadi John" was seen in ISIS videos showing the beheadings of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, British aid workers David Haines and Allan Henning, and Japanese hostage Kenji Goto.

Officials quoted by USA media said the two men had been captured by members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who are targeting remnants of IS.

Their capture was first reported by the New York Times. ISIL is another acronym for the Islamic State.

The pair were handed over to USA special forces, according to the New York Times, with their identities confirmed using fingerprints and other measurements.

What is the state of IS in Syria?

The Islamic State has lost significant parts of the Syrian and Iraqi territories it had taken over in a self-declared caliphate in 2014. In the beginning of November, it lost Deir-al Zour in Syria on the same day as it lost al-Qaim in Iraq.

The SDF suspected the two men were foreign fighters and handed them over to American Special Operations forces.

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