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British ISIS member convicted in deadly kidnapping plot

Alexandria, Virginia — El Shafi El SheikhOne of three British men accused of carrying out a brutal ISIS hostage-taking plot was found guilty for his role in a conspiracy that led to the deaths of four Americans in April. He was sentenced to eight life sentences on Friday after being served. There is no parole in the federal system. His Elsheikh, the highest-ranking ISIS fighter facing a US jury trial, plans to appeal. His lawyer said ineffective lawyers were likely the reason. 

Elsheikh said he was found guilty of eight counts. Among them were his four charges of taking hostages and causing them to die, conspiracy to murder, and conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization. 

El Sheikh and his co-conspirators Mohammed His Emwazi and Alexander Koty collectively referred to as the "Beatles" in a British accent known to have cooperated in kidnappings and abuses. Prosecutors say he has more than 20 Western hostages. He was convicted of participating in a conspiracy that led to the deaths of American hostages James Foley, Peter Kassig, Kayla Mueller and Stephen Sotloff.

First Assistant US Attorney Raj Parekh reminded the court of the horrors suffered by the hostages. "To paraphrase a passage from Dante's Inferno, 'We lack such a vocabulary of pain.' , including sustained beatings, tension, ordering each other to fight, and other traumatic acts of violence, which forced victims to starve and live in deplorable conditions.  It included sadistic mind games, such as having the hostages learn the words 'Hotel Osama,'" former hostages Nicholas Ennin, Edouard Elias and Daniel Lai Ottsen testified at the trial.  

He spoke of the "Royal Rumble", in which the Beatles put hostages in solitary confinement, forced them to fight each other, and threatened the loser with waterboarding. was malnourished and the Beatles were playing sports broadcast like they were punching each other and passing out," Parekh said. 

At Friday's sentencing, the family was able to issue an impact statement to the court and the defendants. 

Diane Foley points out that Friday marks his 8th anniversary since his son James Foley was murdered by ISIS, heading to El Sheikh for the next said. A life imprisoned for your horrible deeds. But you lost too. Your freedom, your civil rights, your contact with family. We all lost.

"Love is better than hate." much stronger," she told him. "I am sorry that you chose hate and succumbed to false theology, because Islam is truly a religion of mercy and peace."

Commonwealth of the Eastern District of Virginia Prosecutor Jessica Aber denounced the Beatles' crimes as "not only a horrific loss of a loved one in the family, but on the international stage in front of a shocked public."

"Without the family commitment," she continued in a tweeted video statement, "This case would never have gone to court. We wouldn't have gotten it, we have today."

After the hostages were either released or killed, Elsheikh worked in the ISIS hierarchy and upper echelons until his capture in January 2018. continued. A series of gruesome ISIS propaganda videos and images of her released in 2014. ISIS had claimed Mueller was killed in a 2015 airstrike on her in Syria, but at the trial, prosecutors said her members of ISIS held her and sexually abused her for a year. He later said that he actually killed her. and half.

Elsheikh was charged with involvement in the kidnapping and torture that led to the killing of the hostages. 

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File: El Shafi El Sheikh, her ISIS suspect in England. AP

Elsheikh and Kotey were eventually captured together and detained by the Syrian Defense Forces before the UK handed them over to the US for trial I agree. Coty pleaded guilty in exchange for a life sentence. Known as "Jihadi John", who carried out many hostage executions, was killed in Syria in 2015.

Aine Davis, who in some countries is suspected to be his fourth member of the ISIS "Beatles," said earlier this month after being deported from the United Kingdom. was indicted on terrorism-related charges in the United Kingdom in Turkey, according to British officials. He was convicted in Turkey in 2017 for serving time in prison as a member of ISIS. U.S. prosecutors did not name Davis as a co-conspirator or "Beatles" during Elsheikh's trial.

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