El Shafie El-Sheikh, a member of the brutal “Beatles” of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, a faction that specializes in capturing, torturing and executing Western hostages, is due to learn his sentence in a US court on Friday.
He faces life in prison for killing four Americans.
El Shafee El-Sheikh, 34, was arrested by Syrian Kurdish forces in 2018. He was found guilty by a popular jury in April, following a harrowing trial that exposed the plight of “The Beatles” in broad daylight.
A 12-person jury deliberated for less than six hours over two days before indicting him for his role in the deaths of four Americans, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and aides Peter Kasik and Kayla Mueller.
El Shafee el-Sheikh was arrested along with another Beatles member, 38-year-old former British national Alexanda Kotey.
Both men were handed over to US forces in Iraq and sent to the US for trial in 2020.
Alexandra Gotti pleaded guilty in September 2021 and was sentenced to life in prison last April by Judge TS Ellis, who handed down the sentence on Friday against El Shafee El-Sheikh.
Another alleged Beatles member, Eain Davies, 38, appeared in a British court last week on charges in London after being extradited from Turkey.
The most famous of the group, British Mohammed Emwazi, aka “Jihadi John”, was killed by a US drone strike in Syria in 2015. He appeared in several videos showing his throat.
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Four members of this “Beatles” active in Syria between 2012 and 2015, radicalized in London, are accused of overseeing the detention of at least 27 journalists and humanitarian workers from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Spain. , Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Japan, New Zealand and Russia.
The nickname “Beatles” was given to this group of jihadists by Western hostages with a British accent.
The group gained notoriety for staging the execution of prisoners in excruciating propaganda videos.
In El Shafie El-Sheikh’s trial, ten former European and Syrian hostages described torture at the hands of the “Beatles”, such as drowning, electric shocks or mock executions.
This week, British police revealed that mounting a case against The Beatles was like putting together a “puzzle of very small pieces” over ten years.
“We’re following a trail of little breadcrumbs, crumbs, a whole lot of other inquiries,” Richard Smith, London’s police chief of counter-terrorism, told reporters on Wednesday.
“Coffee trailblazer. Social media fanatic. Tv enthusiast. Friendly entrepreneur. Amateur zombie nerd.”
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