ISIS “Beatle” Sentenced To Life In Prison For Torture And Beheading Of Four Americans

(New York, N.Y.) — During a sentencing hearing last week in Alexandria, Virginia, Alexanda Amon Kotey, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist and member of the ISIS terror cell nicknamed “The Beatles,” was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the torture and beheadings of Steven Sotloff, James Foley, and Peter Kassig, as well as the torture and murder of Kayla Mueller in Syria. Kotey pleaded guilty in September 2021 to the charges against him and admitted to using methods including electric shock and waterboarding to torture his victims, which the U.S. Department of State had previously suggested was likely.

Kotey’s infamous terror cell included British citizens Aine Davis and El Shafee Elsheikh, as well as ISIS executioner Mohammed Emwazi. In April 2022, Elsheikh was found guilty of similar charges of kidnapping and torture of the four Americans. In the early 2000s, Kotey, Davis, and Emwazi all reportedly attended the Al-Manaar mosque in Landbroke Grove, London, where Kotey allegedly became radicalized. Kotey would reportedly stand outside of the mosque and preach extremist propaganda, such as arguing that suicide bombings did not violate the Quran. The three were reportedly physically removed and banned from the mosque because of their radical behavior.

According to freed ISIS hostages, The Beatles were among the more brutal of ISIS’s guards and were responsible for the deaths of two dozen total hostages. A French journalist held prisoner for 10 months told reporters that his captors would regularly stage mock executions after telling captives they were to be beheaded. Escaped captives also reported waterboarding and other torture.

In exchange for Kotey’s guilty plea, U.S. prosecutors did not pursue the death penalty and will likely extradite him to his native Great Britain in 2037 to serve out the remainder of his sentence. Kotey has further agreed that if extradited and charged by British authorities that he will plead guilty to his crimes and face a life sentence.

To read the Counter Extremism Project (CEP)’s resource Alexanda Amon Kotey, please click here.

To read CEP’s resource ISIS, please click here.

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On November 25, 2021, al-Shabaab carried out a suicide car bombing targeting an African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) convoy as it drove by a school in Mogadishu. The attack left 8 dead and 17 wounded, including teachers and students at Mocaasir Primary and Secondary School. 

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