Europe

Beatles jihadi 'George' admits ransoming westerners as he begs forgiveness

The daughter of aid worker David Haines, who was murdered by Islamic State extremists, has said she plans to face his accused captors in court.

Bethany Haines said she believes ‘justice will be served’ when suspected terrorists Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh go on trial.

Kotey and Elsheikh are accused of belonging to a brutal four-man cell of Islamic State executioners in Syria, nicknamed The Beatles because of their British accents.

Elsheikh, known as George, and Kotey, known as Ringo, are accused of being part of the group responsible for killing a number of high-profile Western hostages.

It is thought they may go on trial in the US after they were stripped of their British citizenship and the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute them in the UK.

Speaking to ITV News, Miss Haines said: ‘When they go on trial, they’ll face a tough sentence. They’ll also have to face me sitting in the courtroom.

‘Whether he will reveal the truth or not is kind of up to him.

‘I think, for myself, I tend not to think about him, I tend not to think about Jihadi John, I tend not to think about Elsheikh.

‘They did what they did and justice will be served.

‘But, for me, I don’t speak about them, I don’t want to think about them, I don’t want to give them any ammunition or support for them to be martyrs.

‘They can do what they want to do but their actions have consequences.’

Kotey and Elsheikh, who were raised in the UK, were captured in January last year and are believed to be detained by Kurdish forces in Syria.

Their capture sparked a row over whether they should be returned to the UK for trial or face justice in another jurisdiction.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid faced criticism after sharing intelligence about them with US authorities, without seeking assurances that they would not face execution if they were extradited and tried there.

Last month, Kotey admitted that he was a hostage keeper with the IS terror cell, which also included Mohammed Emwazi – known as Jihadi John – who was killed in a US air strike in 2015.

The other member was Aine Davis – known as Paul – who has been jailed in Turkey.

The group is suspected of involvement in the beheading of 27 people, including British aid workers Mr Haines and Alan Henning and US citizens James Foley, Steven Sotloff and Peter Kassig.

Elsheikh, who was born in Sudan but grew up in London, confessed to helping the terror group ransom western captives back to their families.

Yesterday he told CNN: ‘I consider my role in this whole scenario, this whole episode as one of my mistakes that I would like to apologise for,’ Elsheikh said.

‘[To] everybody involved and everybody who was affected, directly or indirectly.’

Asked why he was offering an apology and confession now, after denying his role in Islamic State for so long, Elsheikh added: ‘I just want this period to be over.

‘I know what needs to be done. The truth has to come out.’

Mr Haines was beheaded in 2014 after being taken hostage in Syria while working for an international relief agency.

The 44-year-old father-of-two had been helping refugees in a camp near the Turkish border when he was snatched by militants.

His daughter said she will ‘do anything’ to find her father’s remains.

She said: ‘If it means going over there, I’ll go over there. If it means speaking to a hundred different people, I’ll speak to a hundred different people.

‘I will get him home if it can be done.’

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