The US want the captured Islamic State jihadists nicknamed The Beatles to be tried in their home country, but Britain is in no mood to allow that.
Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, part of a squad called The Beatles due to the jihadists’ English accents, were captured in Syria by Kurdish forces last month. They are wanted for the torture and murder of dozens of people, including UK and US citizens.
The duo’s citizenship has been taken away to prevent them from entering Britain.
The US has ruled out putting them in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and Britain’s defence secretary Gavin Williamson wants the duo to be tried in Syria. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has no internationally recognised legal status to try the suspects themselves and they have not received any extradition appeal from the UK.
“Judging by the words of the British Defence Secretary I don’t think the UK wants them back. He already said he wants all these fighters in Syria dead,” Sherin Abdullah told the Telegraph. “We haven’t heard anything from Britain at all.”
The SDF is currently holding the men in northern Syria.
Williamson has refused to allow the men to be tried in Britain saying, “The day these barbaric terrorists turned their back on this country in pursuit of an evil agenda of bloodshed and slaughter, they forfeited their right ever to return.”
They are not British subjects and should “pay the price for their crimes in Syria,” he said.
Who are The Beatles?
The Beatles are responsible for the beheading videos of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning. According to reports, their torture methods are particularly severe, as they use electric shock Taser guns, mock executions and waterboarding.
The Beatles first garnered media attention back in 2014 when several escaped and freed hostages spoke of a trio of Brits who acted as guards. According to an NBC News source, “The Beatles were harsher than other guards. They were really rough with them. Whenever the Beatles showed up, there was some kind of physical beating or torture.”