ISIS guards charged in American hostage murders detained in Alexandria

ISIS guards charged in American hostage murders detained in Alexandria
Alexanda Amon Kotey (left) and El Shafee Elsheikh (right).

By Cody Mello-Klein |

Alexanda Amon Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, two former members of terrorist organization ISIS involved in the murder of four U.S. hostages, are being held at the Alexandria Detention Center, according to the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office.

Kotey, 36, and Elsheikh, 32, were one-half of the infamous group of ISIS guards known as the “Beatles,” which abducted, tortured and executed four U.S. citizens, as well as British and Japanese citizens, in Syria, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Between 2012 and 2015, the “Beatles” abducted about two dozen hostages and released brutal videos showing the beheadings, demand- ing that the U.S. military cease its airstrike campaign against ISIS. Mohammed Emwazi, the lead executioner of the group, was killed in a military airstrike in 2015, according to the DOJ release.

After two years of diplomatic negotiating, the U.S. was able to extradite Kotey and Elsheikh from the U.K. and charge them with hostage taking and the beheadings of James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller on Oct. 7.

Kotey and Elsheikh were indicted on eight counts, including hostage taking resulting in death and providing material to a terrorist organization, all of which carry a life sentence. They made their first federal court appearance in Alexandria on Oct. 9, according to a DOJ news release.