Syrian Kurds capture two British Islamic State militants


The last two British Islamic State fighters part of a group dubbed the "Beatles" due to their British accents were captured by Syrian Kurds in January, U.S. military officials said. They are believed to be linked to the British terrorist known as Jihadi John, the masked IS militant who appeared in several videos depicting the graphic beheadings of Western hostages. Kotey, born in London, is of Ghanaian and Greek Cypriot background, while Elsheikh's family fled Sudan in the 1990s.

A separate USA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had captured the two in early January in eastern Syria. They were the last two members of the brutal "Beatles" group of four British militants to remain at large.

Emwazi appeared with his face covered and voice disguised in a string of videos in which captives including British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning were beheaded.

Aine Davis, the fourth member, was convicted of terrorism charges in Turkey.

The State Department has imposed sanctions on both men.

The British extremists were known for their brutality.

The State Department, in imposing sanctions on Kotey a year ago, said he likely engaged in executions and torture, including electronic shock and waterboarding, and recruited several British nationals to IS.

"Kotey has also acted as an ISIS recruiter and is responsible for recruiting several United Kingdom nationals to join the terrorist organisation". ISIL is another acronym for the Islamic State.

Elsheikh, it said, "was said to have earned a reputation for waterboarding, mock executions, and crucifixions while serving as an Isis jailer".

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who USA forces say have captured "hundreds" of foreign-born Islamic State militants on the Syrian battlefield, including two British men who belonged to the notorious "Beatles" kidnapping and murder group. American officials were informed in mid-January that the militia might have captured the men.

USA officials were informed in mid-January that the militia might have captured the men, the newspaper reported, adding that the officials later confirmed their identities using fingerprints and other biometric measurements.