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ISIS terrorist pleads guilty in torture, killing of Kayla Mueller, 3 other Americans

ISIS flag (DoD Photo/Released)
September 03, 2021

A member of a quartet of British Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group members, commonly referred to as the “Beatles,” pleaded guilty in a U.S. federal court on Thursday for his role in torturing and killing hostages, including Kayla Jean Mueller and three other Americans.

Alexanda Kotey, referred to as the “Jihadi Ringo,” was charged in connection with filming and releasing a series of execution videos and sharing other images of ISIS’ cruelty towards its captives throughout 2014 and 2015. He was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit hostage-taking resulting in death; four counts of hostage-taking resulting in the deaths of the four Americans (James Wright Foley, Steven Joel Sotloff, Peter Edward Kassig and Mueller); one count of conspiracy to murder U.S. citizens outside of the U.S.; one count of conspiracy to provide material support or resources to terrorists resulting in the deaths of U.S., British and Japanese nationals; and one count of conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization resulting in the deaths of U.S., British and Japanese nationals.

Kotey entered a guilty plea on all eight counts on Thursday, the Department of Justice announced.

According to his plea agreement, Kotey faces a mandatory life behind bars when he is sentenced on March 4, 2022.

“This guilty plea ensures that Kotey will spend the rest of his life in prison for the horrific crimes he has committed,” said Mark J. Lesko, acting assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s National Security Division.

Kotey and two other ISIS members supervised the terrorist group’s jails and were responsible for moving hostages between jail sites. Kotey and his co-conspirators engaged in a prolonged pattern of physical and psychological violence against hostages that the DOJ said was intended to control the hostages and compel the victims’ family members and the U.S. government to pay large ransoms for their release.

Steven M. D’Antuono, the assistant director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office said, “Years ago, Alexanda Kotey’s actions played out on the world stage, and those brutal crimes against Americans James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller, as well as two British and two Japanese hostages are forever burned into the eyes of the American people.”

“This guilty plea will not lessen the suffering of those affected by his cruelty,” D’Antuono added. “But I hope it reminds the world of the FBI’s unwavering dedication to finding and prosecuting all individuals who inflict harm on U.S. citizens, no matter their location.”

Kotey’s alleged co-conspirator El Shafee Elsheikh, referred to as “Jihadi George,” also has a pending case at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Kotey and Elsheikh were captured by Syrian Democratic Forces in January of 2018, the Washington Examiner reported.

A third member of the ISIS “Beatles,” Mohammed Emwazi, referred to as “Jihadi John,” was killed in an airstrike in November 2015.

Aine Lesley Davis, the group’s “Jihadi Paul,” is believed to be imprisoned in Turkey.