Alexandria, Virginia – Alexandre Kote, a member of the infamous Islamic State kidnapping team known as the Beatles, pleaded guilty in a US court on Thursday for conspiring to murder four American hostages.
The Federal Court in Alexandria, Virginia, on the outskirts of Washington, issued a notice this week calling for a “change of plea” hearing for Kotai, a former British national who was also taken to the United States for trial by two kidnappers One of the team members.
Kotey, 37, and El Shafee Elsheikh, 33, took off from Iraq in October and are facing trial for their involvement in the murder of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and rescuers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller.
In January 2018, two suspects were handed over to the US military in Iraq after being captured by Syrian Kurdish forces in Syria.
Britain did not want them to be tried in the country and deprived them of their British nationality.
But only after the US authorities assured London that they would not seek the death penalty in this case could they be transferred to the United States.
On October 9, they appeared in court through a video link before Judge TS Ellis, and neither of them pleaded guilty.
But when Ellis asked him on Thursday, Kotai appeared in person and answered “yes”, “Do you freely, voluntarily and voluntarily plead guilty because you are actually guilty of these charges?”
Ellis also confirmed that Kotai “agrees to cooperate fully and honestly with the United States and to provide the government with all the information you know about any criminal activity, not just the content of the indictment, but also whether you know of any criminal activity. Activity.”
By pleading guilty, he gave up the right to be tried and faced several life sentences without the right to early release.
The families of four American victims attended the court. Prosecutor Dennis Fitzpatrick (Dennis Fitzpatrick) said they agreed with the change in the defense strategy.
Kotey and Elsheikh’s four-member IS team was captured as the “Beatles” because of their British accent.
They allegedly kidnapped Americans, Europeans and Japanese hostages in Syria between 2012 and 2015.
They allegedly tortured and killed the victims, including beheading, and IS released a video of the murder for propaganda purposes.
Muhammad Emwazi, the leader known as “Jihadist John”, was killed in the US airstrike on Syria in November 2015, and the fourth “Beatle” Ain Davis was charged with terrorism. After conviction, he was detained in Turkey.
According to US authorities, Kotey and Elsheikh supervised the detention facility where the hostages were held and allegedly coordinated ransom negotiations via email.
They said that the two also “perpetrated long-term physical and psychological violence against the hostages.”
In 2019, a US special forces raid led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi in Syria, codenamed Task Force 8-14, to commemorate the birthday of the young aid worker Mueller.
When she was kidnapped in northern Syria in 2013, she was working at the Danish Refugee Council.
Mueller’s parents said she was tortured before being handed over to Baghdadi, who allegedly repeatedly raped her before killing her.