Two notorious Islamic State killers, suspected of helping to murder US journalist James Foley, are now in the custody of American soldiers after the Kurdish militia who had been holding them retreated from Turkish forces. The two former UK citizens were part of a terrorist gang known as “the Beatles” because of their British accents. Now they’ll be tried for their crimes in a US court.
When the terrorist group calling itself Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS or ISIL, declared its “caliphate” in 2014, tens of thousands of fanatics from all over the world flocked to join its regime. Five years later, with the illegal state reduced to a besieged pocket in the Syrian desert, the survivors of this renegade militia are mostly in prison camps — and now they need to be dealt with.
- President Trump has asked western countries to take back, and deal with, any of their citizens found in the ruins of the Islamic State. However, many governments have refused. They know that if the terrorists are allowed home, left-wing politicians and activist judges will ensure they get light sentences. Some European politicians are even arguing they should be let off completely.
- The UK is one of the countries that doesn’t want its traitorous citizens back. In fact, wherever it can, the British government has stripped them of citizenship and washed its hands of them. The UK’s position is that Iraq and Syria can deal with them.
- Now, two of the most vicious ex-Brits are in American hands. El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexander Kotey were in the same four-man group as the notorious “Jihadi John”, Mohammed Emwazi, who became infamous for their televised executions of foreign hostages.
- After the fall of ISIS, Elsheikh and Kotey were captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces and held in a detention camp. However the Kurdish militia that ran the camp was forced to withdraw this week after US forces pulled out of the region — and, before going, they handed some of their worst prisoners over to American troops.
- Now the Justice Department wants to bring the two men to Virginia for trial. Elsheikh’s mother is fighting a human rights case to stop the British government from sharing evidence, because the US won’t guarantee that the death penalty won’t be applied, but the UK has already handed over witness statements and argues that the men aren’t British citizens anymore, so it has no responsibilities to them.
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