UK-born Alexanda Kotey pleaded guilty to eight criminal cases, including the murder of hostages and a plot to support terrorists. Alexanda Kotey was a member of a group of Islamic State fighters in Syria called “The Beatles”,
London-born Alexanda Kotey is one of two members of the Islamic State who were held in Iraq by the U.S. military before being transferred to the United States to stand trial on terrorist charges.
Appearing before US district judge TS Ellis at a hearing in Alexandria, Virginia, Kotey pleaded guilty to the murders of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and humanitarian workers Kayla Mueller and Peter Kassig.
The man faced the death penalty, but the US authorities informed the British that American prosecutors would not demand it for Kotey.
The verdict in his case is due in March.
Life imprisonment in the USA
Judge Ellis said that according to preliminary agreements between the US and UK authorities, Kotey could be handed over to the UK after 15 years in prison.
The Justice Department said in a statement that considering Kotey had agreed to life imprisonment without parole, if his sentence in the UK for whatever reason is shorter than life imprisonment, Kotey is to “be handed over back to United States to serve the remainder of the sentence. “
Ellis added that as part of the plea, Kotey agreed to “fully and truthfully” cooperate with investigators as well as to controlled meetings with family members of the hostage victims.
“Beatles” of jihad
Kotey was a British citizen but the British government revoked his citizenship. He belonged to a four-person cell of the Islamic State nicknamed “The Beatles” due to British accents of its members.
The group was suspected of participating in Islamic State videos posted on the Internet showing beheadings of foreign hostages.
The 24-page indictment contains a long list of acts of torture Kotey is accused of, including stun gun electrocution, forcing hostages to fight each other and beating with sticks.
Main photo source: Reuters