Two ISIS terrorists behind the brutal killings of four Americans are now in U.S. custody and have been indicted, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday morning.
El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey are facing eight felony charges for the kidnapping, torture, and killing of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and American aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller.
The terrorists face a maximum sentence of life in prison for each of the charges of conspiracy to commit hostage-taking resulting in death, hostage-taking resulting in death, conspiracy to murder U.S. citizens outside the U.S., conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization.
The two terrorists were captured in January 2018 by Syrian Democratic Forces while attempting to flee Syria for Turkey. They were extradited to the U.S. on Wednesday and are now in FBI custody. They are expected to appear in court Wednesday afternoon.
“If you harm an American, you will face the same fate as these men. You will face American arms on the battlefield, and if you face that, you will face American justice in an American courtroom,” Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers, of the DOJ’s National Security Division, said during an announcement on Tuesday.
“Either way, you will never live in peace. You will be pursued until the ends of the earth,” he added. “They have underestimated the American resolve to obtain justice for our fellow American citizens.”
U.S. Attorney Zachary Terwilliger said that Elsheikh and Kotey were born in the United Kingdom where they became radicalized and left in 2012 to join the ISIS terror group. They then became ingrained in the terror group’s “brutal hostage-taking scheme” where they forced hostages from the U.S., Europe, and Asia to witness murders, mock executions, and carried out electrical shocks and beatings.
James Foley was the first of the four Americans to be “forcibly seized and detained” in late November 2012, the indictment states. Mueller and Sotloff were next to be kidnapped and taken hostage in August 2013, followed by Kassig in October 2013.