British IS fighters 'the Beatles' captured in Syria

09 February, 2018, 05:23 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • This Oct 19 2017 image from drone video shows damaged buildings in Raqqa Syria two days after Syrian Democratic Forces said military operations to oust the Islamic State group ended

Two British Islamic State militants known for their role in the torture and killings of Western hostages were captured by Syrian Kurdish fighters, two USA officials said on Thursday.

According to the New York Times, the pair, who have been identified as Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, were picked up in mid-January, which was when American officials were informed about their capture.

The lead executioner in the "Beatles" cell, Mohammed Emwazi, known as "Jihadi John", was killed by a USA drone strike in 2015.

The US official did not give any information on the condition of the two or what would happen to them.

They are believed to be linked to the British terrorist known as Jihadi John, the masked ISIS militant who appeared in several videos depicting the graphic beheadings of Western hostages.

A fourth member of the so-called "Beatles", Aine Davis, is imprisoned in Turkey on terrorism charges.

Alexanda Kotey is one of the two members of "The Beatles" captured by Syrian Kurdish forces.

The latest arrests were confirmed by United States officials.

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Kotey had also acted as a recruiter and was responsible for recruiting several British nationals to join the militant group, the State Department said.

British aid workers Alan Henning and David Haines, and American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff were among their suspected victims - beheaded in brutal videos released on the internet.

The UK Foreign Office, meanwhile, said it did not comment on individual cases or investigations.

The aim was "to allow analysts more time to pursue the intelligence leads developed from their detention and prepare raids against unsuspecting Islamic State targets", the newspaper said.

The pair were handed over to U.S. special forces, according to the New York Times, with their identities confirmed using fingerprints and other measurements.

The Islamic State has lost significant parts of the Syrian and Iraqi territories it had taken over in a self-declared caliphate in 2014.

In October, the group lost its "capital" of Raqqa to the SDF. The US-backed group has played a key role in driving IS from its strongholds in Syria.

He went to state schools, then studied computer science at the University of Westminster before leaving for Syria in 2013.

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