WASHINGTON – Two British Islamic State fighters who were part of a notorious kidnapping cell dubbed “The Beatles” for their British accents have been captured in Syria, a U.S. defense official confirmed Thursday.
The two members of the group still in the field, Alexanda Amon Kotey and El Shafee el-Sheikh, both from Britain, were captured in January in eastern Syria by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
“The two are believed to have acted as guards and interpreters involved in ISIS’ illegal captivity of Western hostages, and are thought to have links to the British terrorist often called ‘Jihadi John,” the official said in a statement.
The U.S. official did not give any information on the condition of the two or what would happen to them.
Of the other two members of the “Beatles” group, Mohammed Emwazi — nicknamed “Jihadi John” — was killed in 2015 in a drone strike by the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group.
“Jihadi John” was the leader of the group, known for using a knife to kill hostages in a string of videotaped beheadings, including of U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.
The fourth member, Aine Davis, is being held in Turkey.