Mohammed Emwazi known as"Jihadi John” was one of four British members of ISIL who were known as the'Beatles. SITE Intelligence Group via AP
09 February, 2018, 03:48
The American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces captured two notorious British members of an Islamic State insurgent cell commonly dubbed "The Beatles" and known for beheading hostages, a USA military official said Thursday.
El Shafee Elsheikh (l.) and Alexandar Amon Kotey (r.) are two British members of ISIS that were captured in Syria in January.
Mohammed Emwazi, better known as "Jihadi John", was the gang's leader and appeared in a number of beheading videos. He last appeared in December 2016 in Mosul, the Isis stronghold in Iraq which has since been recaptured.
The men were part of a group of four ISIS jihadists known as the "Beatles" due to their British accents. Known as "Jihadi John", he was seen executing hostages, including USA journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, in several IS videos of beheadings.
The Londoners were the last members of the bloodthirsty group of four Britons still at large.
Ringleader Emwazi was killed in a drone strike in 2015 and Davis is in jail in Turkey after being convicted previous year on terrorism charges.
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The State Department has imposed sanctions on both men.
Unnamed American officials, quoted in the New York Times, said the pair were picked up by the Syrian Democratic Forces as they fought the last remaining pockets of Isis fighters near the Euphrates.
Born in 1983, Kotey was also connected to the "London Boys" - a network of extremists who fomented radical Islam while playing five-a-side football in west London and who were linked to the 7/7 London bombings and the subsequent failed 21/7 plot.
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 Americans confirmed their identities using fingerprints and other biometric measurements.
"Kotey has also acted as an Isil recruiter and is responsible for recruiting several United Kingdom nationals to join the terrorist organisation". The two men are among four members of the IS cell that captured, tortured and beheaded more than two dozen hostages including American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and American aid worker Peter Kassig.
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