El Shafee el-Sheikh was found guilty of murdering four Americans when the Beatles cell was active in Syria between 2012 and 2015. His lawyers have announced that they will appeal.
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Posted on 08/19/2022 23:40
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His group specialized in capturing, torturing and executing western hostages. El Shafee el-Sheikh, a member of the “Beatles” cell within the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, was sentenced to life imprisonment by a US court on Friday, August 19 for the murder of four Americans. His lawyers have announced that they will appeal.
The 34-year-old, who was arrested by Syrian Kurdish forces in 2018, was found guilty by a popular jury in April of the murders of two journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and two development workers, Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller. The federal judge of the court in Alexandria, Virginia, simultaneously sentenced the defendant to eight life terms.
The four “Beatles”, who were radicalized in London and active in Syria between 2012 and 2015, are accused of overseeing the detention of at least 27 journalists and humanitarian workers from several countries including the United States, the United Kingdom or France . The group, nicknamed the “Beatles” because of the British accent of their members, had achieved notoriety for depicting the execution of prisoners in horrific propaganda videos. At the trial of El Shafee el-Sheikh, ten former European and Syrian hostages described simulated drowning, electric shocks or mock executions.
Another member of The Beatles, arrested at the same time as El Shafee el-Sheikh, pleaded guilty in September 2021 and was sentenced to life in prison in April. Another suspected member of the group was also charged and brought before British justice on Thursday 11 August. The best-known of the group, Briton Mohammed Emwazi, aka “Jihadi John”, was killed by an American drone in Syria in 2015.