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ISIS ‘Beatles’ terrorist accused of beheading hostages pleads guilty to charges

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Alexanda Kotey, from the UK, has pleaded guilty to plotting to kill four US hostages

A British terrorist suspected of being a member of ISIS group dubbed “The Beatles” has pleaded guilty to charges to conspiring to murder.

Alexanda Kotey, from the UK, has pleaded guilty to plotting to kill four US hostages at a court in the US.

Kotey and fellow “Beatle” El Shafee Elsheikh pleaded not guilty at a hearing last October but Kotey has since changed his plea.

Kotey and Elsheikh are on trial for their involvement in the murders of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and relief workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller.

Both were part of the gang of four IS militants nicknamed “the Beatles” by their captives due to their British accents.



Elsheikh and Kotey
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Image:

ALEXANDRIA SHERIFF’S OFFICE/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)




The cell – said to be made up of ringleader Mohammed Emwazi, known as Jihadi John, Aine Davis, El Shafee Elsheikh and Kotey – was allegedly responsible for the brutal killings of a number of Western and Japanese captives, including Britons Alan Henning and David Haines.

The slayings sparked outrage and revulsion around the world after being broadcast in graphic detail.



Kotey has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder
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Image:

ITV News)




Kotey, who grew up in London, attended a change of plea hearing at US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, and pleaded guilty to eight charges.

They were four counts of hostage taking resulting in death, conspiracy to commit hostage taking resulting in death, conspiracy to murder United States citizens outside of the United States, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists – hostage taking and murder – resulting in death and conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organisation resulting in death.



The US government have said they will not seek a death penalty
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Image:

Rowan Griffiths \ Daily Mirror)




District Judge TS Ellis read out the charges against Kotey and told him he faced life in prison after the US government agreed not to seek the death penalty.

Kotey said he understood.

Family members of the American victims – journalist James Foley, journalist Steven Sotloff and aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller – were also in the court to hear details of the charges.

Prosecutors said they did not wish to speak at the hearing.




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