Syria war: Last of British IS 'Beatles' gang captured by Kurds


Two British ISIS fighters who are part of a group of British militants sometimes referred to as "the Beatles" have been captured by Syrian Kurdish fighters, according to a report from The New York Times.

The two men are believed to have links to Mohammed Emwazi, a Briton known as "Jihadi John".

They and fellow Londoners - Mohammed Emwazi, dubbed Jihadi John, and Aine Davis - were nicknamed "the Beatles" due to their British accents.

What is the state of IS in Syria?

Emwazi's victims included United Kingdom aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and American aid worker Peter Kassig.

Unnamed US officials said they were been identified by "fingerprints and other biometric means" and that they were captured near the Euphrates river on the Iraqi and Syrian border by members of the US-backed Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia who were mopping up the last pockets of Isis resistance in the area.

USA officials said the "execution cell" had beheaded more than 27 Western hostages and tortured many more.

Alexanda Kotey was from Paddington. In January 2017 US authorities named Kotey as a member of the cell and said they had imposed sanctions on him
Alexanda Kotey was from Paddington. In January 2017 US authorities named Kotey as a member of the cell and said they had imposed sanctions on him

The group's ringleader, Mohammed Emwazi, who was nicknamed "Jihadi John", was killed in a 2015 Central Intelligence Agency drone strike.

Former hostages describe severe mistreatment, beatings and mock executions at the hands of their jailers, especially the Britons.

Kotey, according to the U.S. State Department press release "likely engaged in the group's executions and exceptionally cruel torture methods, including electronic shock and waterboarding".

All four had lived and grown up in west London.

Officials said the men remain in the custody of the SDF, which with US air support have taken control of vast areas of northern and eastern Syria from the Islamic State.

Davis is in custody in Turkey on terrorism charges. The U.S. designated both men as foreign terrorists, and sanctioned Kotey in 2017.

Many U.S. officials believe renewed detentions could open the U.S. government to legal challenges without providing a swift judicial outcome.

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