Last Islamic State "Beatles" Captured in Syria


The last two surviving members of Isis's notorious British terror cell known as "the Beatles" have been captured by Syrian Kurdish fighters, according to USA officials.

The New York Times just released that Alexanda Kotey, 34, and El Shafee Elsheikh, 29, were the last two at large of the four-man, London-raised IS cell that operated in Syria.

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

The men - including a fourth Briton called Aine Davis who is now being held in a Turkish jail on terrorism charges - were known to fellow ISIL fighters and their captives as the "Beatles" because of their English accents.

"Jihadi John" was the leader of the group, known for using a knife to kill hostages in a string of videotaped beheadings, including of USA journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

Aine Davis, the fourth member, was convicted of terrorism charges in Turkey.

Born in 1983, Kotey was also connected to the "London Boys" - a network of extremists who fomented radical Islam while playing five-a-side football in west London and who were linked to the 7/7 London bombings and the subsequent failed 21/7 plot. Both men have been designated foreign terrorists by the United States.

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Emwazi became the public face of Islamic State and a symbol of its brutality after appearing in videos showing the murders of U.S. journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, U.S. aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto and other hostages.

The detention of Kotey and Elsheikh will end a yearslong manhunt by British intelligence and security agencies, as well as a U.S. Joint Terrorism Task Force, the CIA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In a statement at the time, the State Department said Kotey was "one of four members of an execution cell for... the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil)".

The state department says that Kotey "likely engaged in the group's executions and exceptionally cruel torture methods, including electronic shock and waterboarding".

Elsheikh traveled to Syria in 2012 and joined Al-Qaeda in Syria before aligning himself with ISIS.

Elsheikh was sanctioned by the State Department in March past year.

The pair were captured by Syrian Democratic Forces who, suspecting their identities, allowed American Special Operations forces access to them. Cmdr. Sarah Higgins of the Navy, a Pentagon spokeswoman for detention policy issues, declined to comment.