The US government is requesting for the “Beatles of ISIS” squad, one of them of Cypriot origin, to be moved to Guantanamo Bay, a move that could possibly make them eligible for the death penalty.
Alexanda Amon Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, who were captured by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), are accused of taking part in beheadings of western hostages and they are currently among prisoners held by Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
Accordinng to MSNBC, citing media and diplomatic sources, the US sent an official request to UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid, asking him to allow the two British jihadists to be placed into US custody.
Knews understands that if Kotey and Elsheikh are handed over to American authorities, they could possibly be eligible for the death penalty if they face a trial on US soil.
The two men were the last members of a group of Islamic State militants known as the “Beatles” – a name they were given due to their English accents – were captured in eastern Syria in early January by SDF and were later identified with assistance from the US who took part in their interrogation.
Kotey, who has a Ghanaian father and a Cypriot mother, said many IS members did not approve of the killings for the simple reason that it was more beneficial if hostages were kept alive as political prisoners. But he also said Western governments refused to negotiate while other hostages were released for ransom.
Elsheikh also said the killings were a "mistake," as he explained that executions had to go through because of the initial threat by militants, who stood to lose credibility if they backed down.