ISIS “Beatles” member convicted in Virginia
A federal jury Thursday found El Shafee Elsheikh, 33, guilty on all counts of lethal kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder for involvement in abducting, torturing, and executing Western hostages in Syria. Elsheikh and two other ISIS fighters are British nationals, nicknamed the “Beatles” by hostages due to their accents. In an agreement with the United Kingdom, Elsheikh will not face the death penalty but will be sentenced to life imprisonment.
What did he do? Elsheikh admitted he fought for Islamic State (ISIS) but claimed his involvement in the kidnapping of Westerners was a case of mistaken identity. Co-defendant Alexanda Kotey pleaded guilty to helping torture and execute several of the hostages. The prosecution also displayed statements from Elsheikh in 2018 when he boasted about holding hostages and beating them. The victims included humanitarian aid worker Kayla Mueller, 26, from Prescott, Ariz., who was abused and raped before being killed. Mueller’s father attended the trial and thanked the jury for serving justice.
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