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US Court Docs Reveal Authorities Had Multiple Chances to Stop Daesh 'Beatles' Members

© AFP 2022 / SAUL LOEBThe US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, is seen ahead of a plea hearing by Alexanda Kotey, a member of the notorious Islamic State kidnapping cell dubbed the "Beatles," where he is expected to enter a guilty plea to charges of conspiring to murder four American hostages, September 2, 2021.
The US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, is seen ahead of a plea hearing by Alexanda Kotey, a member of the notorious Islamic State kidnapping cell dubbed the Beatles, where he is expected to enter a guilty plea to charges of conspiring to murder four American hostages, September 2, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.09.2021
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Eight counts of criminal indictment have been filed against two ex-UK nationals who are two of the four members of a group known as "the Beatles" due to their British accents. Each count carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and US prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty as a condition of working with their counterparts in the UK.
Court papers filed by prosecutors in New York disclose that the terrorist organization had repeated encounters with police before arriving in Syria, with at least 14 opportunities to stop four Daesh* jihadists from murdering Western hostages, The Sunday Times reported.
Alexanda Amon Kotey, El Shafee Elsheikh, Aine Davis, and ringleader Mohammed Emwazi, dubbed "Jihadi John," are accused of the brutal killings of a number of Western and Japanese captives shot on video, including James Foley and David Haines.
According to the report, before joining the Daesh ranks in Syria, Kotey and Elsheikh, who are expected to stand trial in the US, were involved in drug selling and other "street-level criminal activity." Kotey was also stopped at St. Pancras Eurostar terminal in London when he was reportedly discovered in possession of a weapon and a ticket from Barcelona to Turkey.
At one time, Emwazi, who would later behead US journalists Foley and Steven Sotloff in Syria, was denied boarding at Heathrow Airport.
"Emwazi was carrying, among other things, a book titled ‘Afghan Guerilla Warfare in the Words of the Mujahideen Fighters’ and a pair of boxing gloves," the document containing prosecutors claims reportedly read.
© AFP 2022 / DSKA combination made on November 13, 2015, of various handout file pictures and image grabs, shows (Top L to Bottom R) Japanese freelance video journalist Kenji Goto, US aid worker Peter "Abdel-Rahman" Kassig, US freelance reporter James Foley, Japanese national Haruna Yukawa, US freelance writer Steven Sotloff, British national Alan Henning and British aid worker David Haines, the victims of Islamic State militant "Jihadi John", whose real name is Mohammed Emwazi
A combination made on November 13, 2015, of various handout file pictures and image grabs, shows (Top L to Bottom R) Japanese freelance video journalist Kenji Goto, US aid worker Peter Abdel-Rahman Kassig, US freelance reporter James Foley, Japanese national Haruna Yukawa, US freelance writer Steven Sotloff, British national Alan Henning and British aid worker David Haines, the victims of Islamic State militant Jihadi John, whose real name is Mohammed Emwazi - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2021
A combination made on November 13, 2015, of various handout file pictures and image grabs, shows (Top L to Bottom R) Japanese freelance video journalist Kenji Goto, US aid worker Peter "Abdel-Rahman" Kassig, US freelance reporter James Foley, Japanese national Haruna Yukawa, US freelance writer Steven Sotloff, British national Alan Henning and British aid worker David Haines, the victims of Islamic State militant "Jihadi John", whose real name is Mohammed Emwazi
Emwazi had reportedly been on MI5's radar for years and had been jailed at the request of the UK government in 2009 after traveling to East Africa, where he was believed to be seeking terrorist training. Emwazi was also said to have been involved with a West London offshoot of the al-Qaeda-inspired Al Shabaab* terror group in East Africa as early as 2007.
However, in addition to the previously reported interceptions, the outlet stated that US court filings suggest he was stopped on four more occasions, including in 2010 and 2012 when attempting to fly to Kuwait, where he was born.
Also according to the newspaper, Kotey and Elsheikh were known to have participated in and been arrested during a protest outside the US embassy in London in 2011 in support of the 9/11 attacks, and the following year, they moved to Syria with Emwazi for what Kotey had described before the court as engagement "in the military fight against the Syrian army forces of President Bashar Assad."
Emwazi was killed by a US drone attack in 2015, and Aine Davis is currently imprisoned in Turkey.
On Thursday, Kotey, 37, pleaded guilty to a slew of charges in a Virginia court, including four counts of hostage-taking that resulted in death. In a statement before the court he reportedly agreed to fully cooperate with authorities.
According to reports, when Kotey left the UK, he had "the belief and understanding that the Islamic concept of armed jihad was a valid and legitimate cause and means by which a Muslim defends his fellow Muslim against injustice."
Moreover, Kotey confirmed his role in the kidnapping of captives and claimed that after that, he worked in the terror group's recruitment division, as a sharpshooter, and in the "English media department." But the terrorist will not be forced to testify in court against co-defendant Elsheikh, according to the Times.
On March 4 of the following year, Kotey would be sentenced, and while there were no fresh reports on the status of Elsheikh, he is expected to be trialed in January.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia and many other states
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