El Shafee Elsheikh, British ISIS member, sentenced for deadly kidnapping plot

Alexandria, Virginia — El Shafee Elsheikh, one of many three British males accused of working a brutal ISIS hostage-taking scheme, was sentenced Friday to eight life sentences after he was convicted in April for his function within the plot which led to the deaths of 4 Americans. 

The eight life sentences, one for every rely, are to be served concurrently. There is not any parole within the federal system. Elsheikh plans to enchantment — his lawyer says it is going to doubtless be on grounds of ineffective counsel. 

Elsheikh was discovered responsible on eight costs, together with 4 counts of hostage taking leading to dying, homicide conspiracy and conspiracy to offer materials assist to a terrorist group. 

Collectively generally known as the “Beatles” for their British accents, Elsheikh and his co-conspirators Mohammed Emwazi and Alexanda Kotey labored collectively to kidnap and abuse greater than two dozen Western hostages, in response to prosecutors. He was convicted for taking part within the plot that led to the deaths of American hostages James Foley, Peter Kassig, Kayla Mueller and Steven Sotloff.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh, reminded the courtroom of the horrors suffered by the hostages. “To paraphrase a line in Dante’s Inferno, ‘we lack the vocabulary of such pain,'” he stated. 

“This systematic brutality included mock executions, waterboarding, sustained beatings, stress positions, orders to fight each other, and other shocking acts of violence while the victims were also starved and forced to live in squalid conditions.  It also included sadistic mind games, such as forcing the hostages to memorize the words to ‘Hotel Osama,'” as former hostages Nicholas Henin, Edouard Elias, and Daniel Rye Ottosen testified in the course of the trial.  

He recounted the “Royal Rumble,” when the Beatles positioned the hostages in a cell and compelled them to combat one another, threatening the losers with waterboarding. 

“They were malnourished and the Beatles did a sports broadcaster-style play-by-play as they punched each other and passed out,” Parekh stated. 

U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Virginia Jessica Aber decried the Beatles crimes “with families not only horrifically losing their loved ones, but losing them on an international stage before a shocked public.”

“Without the families’ commitment,” she went on to say in a tweeted video statement, “this case would never have made it to our courthouse. We would not have the result we have today.”

After the hostages had been both launched or killed, Elsheikh continued to serve throughout the hierarchy and higher echelons of ISIS by his seize in January 2018.

Foley, Kassig and Sotloff had been all beheaded in a sequence of grotesque ISIS propaganda movies and pictures launched in 2014. ISIS had claimed Mueller was killed in a 2015 airstrike whereas she was in Syria, however at trial, prosecutors stated ISIS members really killed her after holding her captive and sexually abusing her for a year and a half.

Elsheikh was charged with taking part within the kidnapping and torture that led as much as the murders of the hostages. 

FILE: El Shafee Elsheikh, British ISIS suspect.


Elsheikh and Kotey had been in the end captured collectively and held by Syrian Defense Forces earlier than Britain agreed to extradite them to the U.S. for trial. Kotey pleaded responsible in alternate for a life sentence. Emwazi, generally known as “Jihadi John” and because the determine who carried out most of the hostage executions, was killed in Syria in 2015.

Aine Davis, suspected by some international locations of being a fourth member of the ISIS “Beatles,” was charged with terror-related offenses in the UK earlier this month following his deportation from Turkey, in response to British authorities. He was convicted in Turkey again in 2017 of being an ISIS member had been serving time in jail there. U.S. prosecutors didn’t identify Davis as a co-conspirator or a “Beatle” throughout Elsheikh’s trial.

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