In the United States, two former British citizens who are suspected of belonging to ISIS have been charged with terrorism-related crimes in connection with the killing of four American hostages.
And he accuses Alexandra Koti and Al Shafaa Al Sheikh of belonging to a cell affiliated with the Islamic State, called “The Beatles”, which was involved in kidnappings in Iraq and Syria.
The two men are currently being held by the FBI and will appear before a US federal court in Virginia at a later time.
The two men, who were in US military custody in Iraq, deny the charges.
Assistant Attorney General John Demers said that the charges brought against the two men were “the result of years of hard work to achieve justice” for the four Americans who were killed, namely James Foley, Stephen Sotloff, Kayla Muller and Peter Cassig.
He added, “These two men will be brought before a court in the United States to face justice because of the heinous acts mentioned in their indictment.”
The charges carry a life sentence.
The two men are believed to have been members of an ISIS cell that was responsible for the killing of hostages in Iraq and Syria in 2014.
The victims – among them were American journalists and British and American aid workers – were beheaded, and scenes of their killing were videotaped and posted on social media.
Coty and the Sheikh were members of the cell, which the hostages called the “Beatles” cell, referring to the famous 1960s rock band due to their British accent.
Another member of the cell, Muhammad Emwazi, known as “Jihadi John”, was killed in a drone strike in 2016.
The two men, who are from West London, have been stripped of their British nationality.
The United States had requested Britain’s assistance in the case, but a legal dispute over the use of the death penalty hindered cooperation between them.
And the United States pledged last month not to execute Koti and Al-Sheikh if found guilty.
A step towards closing the case
Frank Gardner’s analysis – security correspondent
This is a major development in the case. These two Londoners were detained two years ago by Kurdish fighters and turned over to US forces in Iraq, where they remained for 12 months.
The two men deny torturing and killing the hostages, but these are the charges against them.
They were transferred to a US court in Virginia, near Washington, DC.
Their appearance would be a step towards closing the case for the families of those killed in Iraq and Syria, some of whom were beheaded in videos posted on social media.
ISIS was controlling an area of 88,000 square kilometers extending from western Syria to eastern Iraq, and it imposed a brutal rule on about 8 million people.
The liberation of these areas revealed the extent of the violations committed by the organization, including murder, torture, amputations, ethno-sectarian attacks, rape and sexual slavery against women and girls, and mass graves containing the remains of thousands of people were also found.
The United Nations investigators concluded that ISIS militants committed acts that amounted to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
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