One of the so-called ISIS Beatles, accused of torture and decapitation plots after joining a terrorist group, pleads guilty when he appears in US court this week.
Federal court records indicate that the change to Alexander Amon Kotei’s plea hearing is scheduled for Thursday, September 2, in the US District Court in Alexandria.
Kotey and another Englishman, El Shafee Elsheikh, were brought to the United States last year after being charged under an extradition agreement. In other words, even if you are found guilty, you cannot face the death penalty.
Court documents do not indicate the specific claim Kotey is expected to sue.
Together with the other two, they became a symbol of the radical jihad in the West and were therefore called “The Beatles” by prisoners of war for their British accent.
The indictment was related to the deaths of four American hostages, journalist James Foley, journalist Steven Sotloff, aid workers Peter Kassig and Keila Mueller, and also detained Europeans and Japanese. I’m prosecuting them.
There is no court record showing that Elsheikh has reached a plea bargain.
Large Parek, acting federal prosecutor for the Eastern District of Virginia and a member of the Kotei and Elshake prosecution teams, declined to comment.
Kotey’s leading public defender, Geremy Kamens, also declined to comment.
The prosecution said the man worked closely with ISIS’s chief spokesman and reported to group leader Abu Bakuru Albaghdad. Abu Bakr Albagdadi was killed in a US military operation last year.
Mohammed Mwaji, also known as the third Beatles, “Jihadi John,” was killed in a 2015 drone strike. The fourth member has been sentenced to imprisonment in Turkey.
Kotey and Elsheikh were radicalized in London before leaving for Syria in 2012, according to an indictment describing them as “a major participant in the brutal hostage program.”
The indictment accuses Kotei and Elshake of participating in the kidnapping of Foley and other prisoners.
In July, prosecutors described the pair as the “principal” of four American hostage prisoners.
Assuming Thursday’s plea trial is proceeding as planned, Kotei and the prosecutor will provide a statement of facts that describes at least some detail the particular action he took.
The two were captured in Syria in 2018 when they tried to flee to Turkey.
The indictment explained that a Syrian prisoner was executed in 2014, stating that the two forced western hostages to monitor.
Kotei instructed the hostages to kneel while watching the execution, holding a sign appealing for release. Mwaji shot the prisoner behind his head while Elshake recorded the execution on video.
Elsheikh will be tried in January.
PA contributed to this report.