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Member of ‘Beatles’ IS cell set to plead guilty in US court on Syria beheadings

6 11 16

One of two British nationals charged in the United States with joining the Islamic State terror group and conspiring to torture and behead American and European hostages in Syria is scheduled to plead guilty to criminal charges.

Federal court records show a change of plea hearing has been scheduled for Thursday in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, for Alexanda Amon Kotey.

Kotey is one of four Islamic State members who were dubbed “the Beatles” by their captives because of their British accents.

Kotey and another man, El Shafee Elsheikh, were brought to the US last year to face charges.

Court documents do not indicate the specific charge or charges to which Kotey is expected to plead. The indictment charges them in connection with the deaths of Israeli-American journalist Steven Sotloff and three other Americans — journalist James Foley and aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller — as well as European and Japanese nationals who were also held captive.

The US Justice Department, in order to obtain their extradition, promised neither defendant would face a death sentence.

Nothing in the court records indicates that Elsheikh has reached a plea deal.

Raj Parekh, acting US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and........

© The Times of Israel

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