British ‘Beatle’ terrorist given life sentence over deaths of Western hostages

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member of the so-called Islamic State terror cell referred to as The Beatles has been jailed for all times after being convicted for his function within the homicide of American hostages in Syria.

El Shafee Elsheikh, 34, who grew up in London, confirmed no emotion as choose Thomas Selby Ellis delivered his verdict at Alexandria District Courtroom, Virginia, whereas members of his victims’ households watched on.

Elsheikh was given a life sentence for every of the eight counts he was convicted of in April, that are as a consequence of run concurrently.

The counts associated to his function in a hostage-taking scheme which concerned torturing, beating and executing prisoners.

Raj Parekh, representing the households, mentioned Elsheikh – recognized to prosecutors as “Ringo” – remained “defiantly remorseless and unrepentant”.

He mentioned the jihadist had made no effort to satisfy victims’ households, like his co-defendant Alexanda Kotey.

Addressing Elsheikh, choose Ellis mentioned: “The behaviour of this defendant and his co-defendant can solely be described as horrific, barbaric, brutal and callous.

I pity you for selecting hatred and for succumbing to a false theology

“It is a important episode within the historical past of our nation and our justice system.”

Decide Ellis mentioned Elsheikh had not suffered mistreatment whereas rising up within the UK.

“He had an honest childhood not marked with brutality,” he mentioned.

The courtroom heard statements from a number of the victims’ family members, together with these of US journalist James Foley.

His mom, Diane Foley, mentioned it was the eight-year anniversary of her son’s demise.

“This trial has revealed the horrific human rights crimes you dedicated whereas a part of Isis,” she advised Elsheikh.

“Your hatred overtook your humanity.”

Turning into audibly emotional, Ms Foley continued: “Understanding Jim, my struggling and that of our household would have given Jim the deepest ache.

“(However) Jim would say, ‘Elsheikh, you didn’t kill me. I’m alive in my household and pals and their pals.

“I reside on in those that survived your inhumanity. I’m alive in all those that aspire to ethical braveness.

ITV Information Safety Editor Rohit Kachroo (left) chatting with El Shafee Elsheikh (proper) (ITV Information/PA) / PA Media

“In some ways I’m extra alive than I’ve ever been’.”

Addressing Elsheikh once more, she added: “I pity you for selecting hatred and for succumbing to a false theology.”

Elsheikh sat sporting a inexperienced jail jumpsuit with white trainers and a black face-covering, and wore glasses.

At instances he appeared to show his head within the path of these studying out their statements.

Decide Ellis additionally dedicated earlier sufferer affect statements, heard within the sentencing of Kotey, to the file.

Elsheikh was allowed the chance to talk earlier than receiving his sentence, which he declined.

Ms Foley was later joined exterior courtroom by Carl and Marsha Mueller, the dad and mom of US humanitarian employee Kayla Mueller.

Ms Foley mentioned the sentence was a “hole victory” and referred to as on the US authorities to do extra to free American hostages overseas.

“As grateful as I’m for this sentence, it’s a hole victory,” she mentioned.

“Our nation has misplaced 4 of its easiest residents, we households misplaced our family members ceaselessly and now Elsheikh and Kotey have misplaced their freedom, nation and households. It’s a tragic cycle of violence and heartbreak for all concerned.”

Mr Mueller mentioned the sentence was “only one extra step within the course of”.

As grateful as I’m for this sentence, it’s a hole victory. Our nation has misplaced 4 of its easiest residents, we households misplaced our family members ceaselessly and now Elsheikh and Kotey have misplaced their freedom, nation and households. It’s a tragic cycle of violence and heartbreak for all concerned

“Marsha and I proceed to seek for Kayla. We proceed to seek for the reality about what occurred to her as a result of we don’t know for positive,” he mentioned.

“We wish to carry her house. We wish to put her on American soil the place she belongs.

“This anniversary of Jim’s brutal beheading is the solemn and tragic marker that no household ought to should endure.”

Elsheikh was one among a gang of 4 Isis militants branded The Beatles as a consequence of their British accents.

The cell was mentioned to be made up of ringleader Mohammed Emwazi, referred to as Jihadi John; Aine Davis; Alexanda Kotey and Elsheikh.

Elsheikh was captured alongside Kotey in Syria in 2018 by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces whereas making an attempt to flee to Turkey.

Final yr, Kotey pleaded responsible to eight counts regarding his involvement, whereas Davis was jailed in Turkey earlier than being deported to the UK final week and Emwazi was killed in a drone strike.

Kotey was given the identical sentence of eight concurrent life sentences, additionally by choose Ellis, on the identical courtroom in April.


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