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British IS militant caught as he tried to flee Syria for Turkey

British IS militant caught as he tried to flee Syria for Turkey”

Shiraz Maher, a senior research fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence at King's College London, told the AP that the capture of Kotey and Elsheikh is "hugely significant for a lot of the Western countries who had hostages who were captured by Islamic State and hopes that they are brought to trial because it will help bring closure to their victims and send a message to anyone who considers joining IS or other extremist groups".

The two men, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, formed part of a group of four fighters nicknamed "the Beatles" due to their British accents and are allegedly responsible for murdering approximately two dozen hostages in Syria.

All four had lived and grown up in west London. He was famous for appearing on propaganda videos of ISIS.

The pair's capture was first reported by The New York Times.

The two men, identified by USA intelligence as Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, have given Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces details about potential burial locations of several American and other Western hostages killed by Mohammed Emwazi, the British IS operative known as Jihadi John, military officials told CNN on Thursday.

Two US officials also confirmed the capture to Reuters.

USA officials said Kotey, 34, of Paddington, central London, and Elsheikh, 29, of White City, west London, were captured by Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.

The SDF gave USA special forces access to the two men after suspecting they were foreign fighters, the Times reported. The men were identified using fingerprints and biometric data.

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"We captured some big commanders".

Kotey, according to the U.S. State Department press release "likely engaged in the group's executions and exceptionally cruel torture methods, including electronic shock and waterboarding".

Kotey had also acted as a recruiter and was responsible for recruiting several British nationals to join the terror group, the State Department said.

"Elsheikh was said to have earned a reputation for waterboarding, mock executions and crucifixions while serving as an ISIS jailer", the statement continued.

According to Thomas, the two men represent just a small portion of the hundreds of foreign-born IS terrorists from a number of nations that SDF fighters have captured or killed since October 2017.

"We don't comment on individual cases or ongoing investigations", a spokesperson said.

It was announced on Thursday that the two remaining members of the cell had been captured by Syrian Kurdish forces. The men reportedly provided valuable information to military interrogators about ISIS leadership and structure.

In a reversal of Obama era policy, the Trump administration has pushed for accused militants to be remanded in military prison.



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