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Mystery as ISIS Beatle VANISHES from US prison system

Mystery as ISIS Beatle VANISHES from US custody: ‘Jihadi George’ Alexanda Kotey – sentenced to life for torture and murder of western hostages – is no longer in prison, sparking confusion and fury from victim’s family

  • Alexanda Kotey has vanished from the US prison system, official records reveal
  • He was sentenced to life last year, but it is unclear where Kotey is located now
  • There are ‘several reasons’ an inmate may be listed as not in the prison system
  • Kotey’s disappearance has sparked fury among the family of his victims 

One of the so-called ‘ISIS Beatles’ who is serving a life sentence for the torture and murder of American hostages has disappeared from the US prison system.

Alexanda Kotey, 39, is no longer in custody at Pennsylvania’s high-security Canaan prison, Federal Bureau of Prisons records revealed. 

The London-native was jailed in America last year after having pleaded guilty in 2021 to eight criminal charges relating to the abduction, torture and beheading of Islamic State hostages in Syria.

Kotey’s disappearance has sparked fury and confusion amongst family members of his victims, including the daughter of a British aid worker that he murdered.

Alexanda Kotey, 39, who is serving a life sentence for the torture and murder of American hostages has disappeared from the US prison system

Kotey (pictured during his capture by Kurdish officials in March 2018) was jailed in America last year after having pleaded guilty in 2021 to eight criminal charges relating to the abduction, torture and beheading of Islamic State hostages in Syria

Kotey – the terror ring member known as ‘Jihadi George’ – was sent to Canaan in August after he admitted eight charges related to kidnapping, torturing and executing the hostages in Syria between 2012 and 2015.

He accepted a plea deal that included ‘cooperation requirements’ and avoided serving his sentence at the ADX Florence prison in Colorado – which is nicknamed the ‘Alcatraz of the Rockies’. 

Now, less than six months later, he is listed as ‘not in BOP custody’ on the prison system’s website. It is unclear where Kotey is currently located.

BOP spokesperson Donald Murphy confirmed to The Scottish Daily Record that ‘Alexanda Amon Kotey is not currently in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons.’

He added that there are ‘several reasons’ why an inmate could be referenced as not in the system, but did not disclose why Kotey received that designation.

‘Inmates who were previously in BOP custody and who have not completed their sentence may be outside BOP custody for a period of time for court hearings, medical treatment or for other reasons,’ Mr Murphy stated. 

The spokesperson also noted that the BOP does not provide specific details about an inmate’s due to ‘safety, security, or privacy reasons.’

MailOnline has approached the BOP, US State Department and UK Foreign Secretary for comment. 

However, Kotey is no longer in custody at Pennsylvania’s high-security Canaan prison (pictured), Federal Bureau of Prisons records revealed. A BOP spokesperson said there are ‘several reasons’ why an inmate could be referenced as not in the system, but did not disclose why Kotey received that designation

Now, less than six months later, Kotey is listed as ‘not in BOP custody’ on the prison system’s website. It is unclear where he is currently located

Kotey abducted her David Haines (left) and witnessed his torture and murder. His daughter Bethany Haines (right, pictured as a teenager) says she believes Kotey is still in the US penal system. She fears the terrorist is ‘assisting authorities’ and wants Kotey be returned to a high-security facility to serve out the entirety of his sentence

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Kotey was a member of the so-called ‘Beatles’ terror group led a hostage-taking scheme that took roughly two dozen Westerners captive a decade ago. The hostages dubbed them Beatles because of their English accents.

Their appearance, always in masks, invoked dread among the hostages for the sadism they displayed. The world was also horrified by their propaganda videos where the victims were paraded in orange jumpsuits before being beheaded.

The group is believed to have abducted and killed 27 people. Among those who murdered were four Americans and two Britons, including aid worker David Haines.

His daughter, 24-year-old Bethany Haines, told the Record yesterday that she believes Kotey is still in the US penal system.

Ms Haines, of Perth, fears the terrorist is ‘assisting authorities’ and wants Kotey to be returned to a high-security facility to serve out the entirety of his sentence.

‘In the past he has been traceable, as we have access to data via the US victim notification scheme, and we at least had the reassurance that he was in a high security facility,’ she said. 

‘I don’t want to think that he has managed to negotiate his way into any kind of easy treatment on the basis of him assisting authorities or anything else.’ 

Ms Haines met with Kotey face-to-face in Virginia last June, where he told her how he had abducted her dad and witnessed his torture and murder.

The meeting was part of a deal that ensured after 15 years Kotey could be transferred to a UK prison to serve the remainder of his full-life term.

It is unclear if Kotey has been transferred back to Britain or is still detained somewhere in the US.

Kotey (pictured in an October 2020 courtroom sketch) was sent to Canaan – ‘one of the most dangerous penitentiaries’ in the US – last year after being was sentenced on eight counts


The terror cell was said to include Kotey, El Shafee Elsheikh (left) and ringleader Mohammed Emwazi (right), known as Jihadi John, who was killed in a drone strike 

Kotey went to trial in America after being captured by a Kurdish militia in Syria in January 2018.

He was handed over to American forces in Iraq to the US in 2020 where he faced trial in relation to the killings of four American hostages: journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller.

He was sent to Canaan – ‘one of the most dangerous penitentiaries’ in the US – last year after being was sentenced on eight counts: four of hostage-taking resulting in death; conspiracy to commit hostage-taking resulting in death; conspiracy to murder US citizens outside of the US; conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, hostage-taking and murder, resulting in death; and conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organisation resulting in death.

The terror cell was said to include Kotey, El Shafee Elsheikh and ringleader Mohammed Emwazi, known as Jihadi John, who was killed in a drone strike.

Elsheikh was captured alongside Kotey in Syria in 2018 by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces while trying to escape to Turkey. 

He who was also sentenced to life in prison in the US last August after a jury convicted him of hostage taking resulting in death and other crimes.

US authorities agreed not to pursue a death sentence as part of a deal that ensured extradition of Elsheikh and Kotey.

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