Two of the ISIS ‘Beatles’ have finally admitted their involvement in holding American aid worker Kayla Mueller hostage in Syria, where she was sexually abused and tortured before her death in 2015.
Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, who are both in U.S. military custody in Iraq, had previously denied ever meeting Mueller, but in interview tapes obtained by NBC News they came clean.
‘She was in a large room, it was dark, and she was alone, and…she was very scared,’ said Elsheikh, a member of the cruel execution squad dubbed the ‘Beatles’ because of their British accents.
‘I took an email from her myself,’ he admitted, meaning he got an email address ISIS could use to demand ransom from the family. Said Kotey: ‘She was in a room by herself that no one would go in.’
Alexanda Kotey (left) and El Shafee Elsheikh (right), who are both in U.S. military custody in Iraq, had previously denied ever meeting Mueller, but came clean in new taped interviews
Kayla Mueller was held hostage in Syria , where she was sexually abused and tortured before her death in 2015
ISIS reportedly demanded 5 million euros from Mueller’s family, telling them that that they would send ‘a picture of Kayla’s dead body’ if their demands were not met
Additional footage from the interviews is due to air on Thursday night’s broadcast of NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.
ISIS reportedly demanded 5 million euros from Mueller’s family, telling them that that they would send ‘a picture of Kayla’s dead body’ if their demands were not met.
Mueller, an international aid worker, was abducted in Syria in 2013. During her captivity, she was raped by the former ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, U.S. officials have said.
Baghdadi killed himself with a suicide vest as American commandos closed in on him in a daring raid.
Kotey and Elsheikh are two of the four so-called ISIS ‘Beatles’, a sadistic hostage-taking execution squad responsible for beheading numerous Western captives, including Americans James Foley, Steven Sotloff and Peter Kassig.
The other two ‘Beatles’ are Mohammed Emmwazi, aka ‘Jihadi John’, who was killed by a CIA drone strike in 2015, and Aine Lesley Davis, who was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison in Turkey in 2017.
Mohammed Emmwazi, aka ‘Jihadi John’, (left and right) was killed by a CIA drone strike in 2015
Though Kotey (left) and Elsheikh (right) are British citizens, the UK has rejected calls to put them on trial there, and refused to share crucial evidence with America
Though Kotey and Elsheikh are British citizens, the UK has rejected calls to put them on trial there. Former British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson called them the ‘worst of the worst’ and said they should ‘never set foot in this country again’.
The U.S. is now contemplating how to bring Kotey and Elsheikh to justice in an American court, but the effort has been stymied by UK allies, who refuse to turn over crucial evidence against the duo because they would face the death penalty.
On Thursday, the family members of Kotey and Elsheikh’s victims, including Mueller’s parents Marsha and Carl, published an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for the duo to be brought to trial in America.
‘We implore President Trump, Attorney General William P. Barr and the Justice Department to have the detainees brought to the United States to face trial,’ the families wrote.
‘There is no nation on Earth better at bringing terrorists to justice than the United States,’ they added.
The families say that U.S. federal court is the best venue to expose to the world the vile crimes committed by the duo.
Mueller’s parents Marsha and Carl (together above) are calling for Kotey and Elsheikh to be brought to face justice in a US federal court
‘They did so much horror to so many people,’ Marsha Mueller told NBC News. ‘They need to be brought here. They need to be prosecuted.’
‘The other thing that’s really important to me about this is I need information about Kayla. We know so little about what happened to her,’ she said.
She added, ‘I believe these two have more information than they’re sharing with us. And I believe that we would find out more if they were brought here.’
ISIS said that Mueller was killed near Raqa in February 2015 during an air raid carried out by the US-led international coalition against the jihadists, although the exact circumstances of her death remain unclear.
Her body was never found, leaving a sliver of hope for her parents that she might still be alive.