Furious families of the ‘ISIS Beatles’ victims have slammed the UK legal system for ‘letting them down’ as it emerged Britain STILL can’t send crucial evidence to US because it violates their ‘data protection rights’
Bethany Haines, whose father David was beheaded by the ISIS ‘Beatles’ in Syria in 2013, savaged the way the case had been handled in the past two years.
It came as it was feared the two surviving ‘ISIS Beatles’ could never face justice in the US – because the Supreme Court ruled that handing over vital evidence breached their ‘data protection rights’ in legal action brought by one of their mothers.
Prosecutors in the US initially planned to seek Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh’s execution – and the British government want the pair prosecuted in the US, where it is thought there is a more realistic chance of prosecution than at home.
But the Supreme Court this year ruled that Britain could not provide any assistance to American investigators when the threat of death hung over the two – who are accused of being complicit in the murders of 27 people, including the British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning and four Americans.
Mr Haines’ daughter Bethany told MailOnline: ‘We’ve waited over two years and have been let down by the UK legal system.
‘The way this has been handled has been terrible. I’ m glad something is finally happening.
‘Rather than the two countries communicating privately, the US has used the press to communicate, which has made this so much harder than it needed to be.
‘In regards to Bill Barr’s threat to send them to Iraq if the deadline isn’t met, I think this is purely a political move.
‘I urge both governments to remember that this is about real people and our lost loved ones getting justice.’
Last night American Attorney General Bill Barr said capital punishment could be dropped in any cases against Kotey and Elsheikh in an effort to pave the way for the men – currently being held in military detention in Iraq – to finally face justice and stand trial in the US.
He set a two-month deadline for any transfer of evidence to begin or the pair will face justice in Iraq – where ISIS fighters are sentenced to hang after five-minute hearings.
But MailOnline has learned the climbdown has currently changed nothing for the frustrated Home Office and government who are still banned from sending evidence over.
Their hands are tied by the Supreme Court judgement on data protection which said providing evidence for criminal proceedings where they could be executed breached their human rights.
The court had ruled after Elsheikh’s mother Maha Elgizouli challenged the then home secretary Savid Javid’s initial decision to share the information in a case costing thousands.
She believes her son should face justice but that any trial should take place in the UK. Today she refused to comment on the latest developments.
This afternoon the court’s registrar was talking with both Ms Elgizouli and the Home Office in a desperate effort to try to unravel the legal nightmare.
Former chief of government national emergency committee COBRA Colonel Richard Kemp told MailOnline the Supreme Court had to reverse its position fast to get justice done.
He said: ‘The Supreme Court now needs to change its ruling in light of the US undertaking.
‘Without that I think America will have no choice apart from handing them over to Iraqi custody, unless they can get this evidence.
‘If that’s what the Supreme Court wants then they should stick to their guns.
‘They need to act fast on this – it would be better for justice to be done in the US court than in the Iraqi system.
‘Until British law is changed to enable us to convict people in circumstances like this, the next best option is the States.’
Alexanda Amon Kotey (left) and El Shafee Elsheikh (right), who were allegedly among four British jihadis who made up a brutal Islamic State cell dubbed ‘The Beatles’
Elsheikh’s mother Maha Elgizouli refused to speak about the new developments today
Mother Maha Elgizouli said her two sons Shafee (right) and his younger brother Mahmoud went to fight for ISIS. She was told last March last year that Mahmoud (left) was killed in Iraq
How the ISIS Beatles have evaded justice
June 11, 2018: Savid Javid authorised the sharing of 600 witness statements gathered by the Metropolitan Police under a ‘mutual legal assistance’ agreement in a letter to then US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
June 11, 2018: Mr Javid wrote to Mr Johnson, indicating that ‘significant attempts’ had been made to obtain assurances, but that the time had arrived to accede to the request for information without seeking any assurance.
He acknowledged that there was a serious risk that Elsheikh and Kotey would, if prosecuted and convicted, face execution as a direct result of UK assistance.
June 20, 2018: Mr Johnson replied on: ‘On a balanced assessment of the key risks… I agree that as this is a unique and unprecedented case, it is in the UK’s national security interests to accede to an MLA request for a criminal prosecution without death penalty assurances for Kotey and Elsheikh’.
July 26, 2018: Elsheikh’s mother Maha Elgizouli gets a High Court injunction to stop any further material from being handed over.
November 2018: Ms Elgizouli urges the Crown Prosecution Service to carry out a review if there really is insufficient evidence for him to be charged and tried in the UK.
By now the material handed over by the UK is returned to it by the US.
January, 2019: The High Court rejects a challenge by Ms Elgizouli over the UK government’s decision to share evidence with American authorities.
March, 2020: The mother’s appeal sees the decision overturned again and the Supreme Court blasts the UK Government’s ‘unlawful’ decision to bow to US pressure to share evidence on the so-called ISIS Beatles without receiving assurances the suspects would be spared the death penalty.
August 19, 2020: The US says they will no longer seek the death penalty for the pair, sparking hope justice will be served.
At the time it was savaged over the ruling by barrister Jon Holbrook, who said the boundaries between politics and law had been erased.
He said: ‘The judgment from the Supreme Court is shocking. Seven judges have waded into a political issue of the most sensitive kind.
‘Fettering the prosecution of extremists who may be responsible for the most heinous, repulsive and barbaric of crimes is a surefire way of turning the people against the law.’
A source told MailOnline: ‘This US announcement hasn’t changed anything at the moment. The government is still prohibited from sending any evidence over by the ruling in the Supreme Court.
‘The supreme court has been notified of the changes announced by the US.
‘As it stands the Supreme Court has made its judgement but the final order has not yet been sent to the parties – no evidence can be sent over.’
Ms Elgizouli had been awarded at least £5,820 in legal aid to pay for her killer son’s fight to be returned to Britain.
The ISIS ‘Beatles’ are believed to be responsible for beheading more than 27 hostages.
In a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel, US Attorney General Bill Barr signalled that capital punishment could be dropped in any potential case against Kotey and Elsheikh.
Mr Barr and his predecessor Jeff Sessions initially baulked at efforts to drop the death sentence. It is understood the U-turn has occurred after the Supreme Court in London blocked the ‘unlawful’ sharing of evidence with US authorities.
In March, a panel of seven justices ruled that then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s decision to share evidence was driven by ‘political pressure from the US’.
It is understood that US assurances to drop the death penalty in a potential case is seen as a welcome development by the Home Office.
According to the Associated Press, Mr Barr said in his letter to Ms Patel: ‘I know that the United Kingdom shares our determination that there should be a full investigation and a criminal prosecution of Kotey and Elsheikh.
‘These men are alleged to be members of the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham and to have been involved in kidnappings, murders, and other violent crimes against the citizens of our two countries, as well as the citizens of other countries.
‘If we receive the requested evidence and attendant cooperation from the United Kingdom, we intend to proceed with a United States prosecution. Indeed, it is these unique circumstances that have led me to provide the assurance offered in this letter.’
Elsheikh and Kotey, who were caught in January 2018, are accused of belonging to a brutal four-man cell of executioners in Syria, nicknamed The Beatles because of their British accents, responsible for killing 27 captives.
Other members of the cell are said to include Mohammed Emwazi, the group’s ringleader, also known as Jihadi John, who was killed in a US air strike in 2015, while Aine Davis is in jail in Turkey for terror offences.
Kotey and Elsheikh, who were raised in the UK but have been stripped of their British citizenship, were seized by the Syrian Democratic Forces in January 2018.
Their capture sparked an international row over whether they should be returned to the UK for trial or face justice in another jurisdiction.
In a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel, US Attorney General Bill Barr has signalled that capital punishment could be dropped against Alexana Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, members of the so-called ‘Beatles’ execution squad
The 7 Supreme Court judges behind the ISIS ‘Beatles’ judgement
– Lady Hale was appointed the first female president of the Supreme Court in 2017 after a varied career as an academic lawyer, law reformer and judge.
A long-standing champion of diversity in the judiciary, she became the first female justice of the court in October 2009, and was appointed deputy president in June 2013.
– Lord Reed was appointed deputy president of the Supreme Court in June last year and will replace Lady Hale when she retires in January.
One of the court’s two Scottish justices, he previously served as a judge in Scotland and sometimes sits as a judge at the European Court of Human Rights and the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal.
– Lord Kerr is the first justice of the court to come from Northern Ireland, where he served as Lord Chief Justice from 2004 to 2009.
Educated at St Colman’s College, Newry, and Queen’s University, Belfast, he was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1970, and to the Bar of England and Wales in 1974.
– Lord Carnwath studied at Cambridge and was called to the Bar in 1968. He served as Attorney General to the Prince of Wales from 1988 to 1994.
While a judge of the Chancery Division, he was also chairman of the Law Commission and, between 2007 and 2012, was Senior President of Tribunals.
– Lord Hodge the court’s other Scottish justice, was previously the Scottish judge in Exchequer Causes, one of the Scottish intellectual property judges.
He was also a judge in the Lands Valuation Appeal Court and a commercial judge.
– Lady Black a justice since 2017, carried out a broad range of civil and criminal work during her early career as a barrister before specialising in family law.
She has served as a High Court judge and Lady Justice of Appeal. Lady Black taught law at Leeds Polytechnic in the 1980s,
– Lord Lloyd-Jones was born and brought up in Pontypridd, South Wales, where his father was a school teacher, and is the court’s first justice to come from Wales.
A Welsh speaker, he was appointed to the High Court in 2005, and acted as adviser to the court in the Pinochet litigation before the House of Lords.
They were transferred to US custody last October as Turkey invaded Syria to attack Kurds who have battling ISIS alongside US forces. They are being held overseas.
Emwazi appeared in a number of videos in which hostages, including British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning and US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, were killed.
US officials have not announced any charges against Elsheikh and Kotey, but have spoken publicly about their desire to see members of the group face justice.
Mr Barr said the British government had until October 15 to resolve any legal objections it may have and to provide US authorities with the evidence they seek.
Otherwise, the men will be transferred to Iraqi custody for prosecution by Iraqi authorities, Barr wrote.
He said the US would not provide to third countries that might impose the death penalty any evidence it has already received, or may received, from the UK.
The British government confirmed that it had received the letter, with the Home Office saying in a statement that its top priority has always been to protect national security and to deliver justice for families.
The decision is a significant development in years of wrangling over Kotey and Elsheikh. The US and British governments have an agreement to share documents, records and other evidence in criminal investigations. In 2015, the Justice Department asked for evidence that Britain had gathered on the ‘Beatles,’ saying it was doing its own investigation into Americans who were murdered in Syria.
British authorities had been willing to provide the US with evidence even without assurances that the men would not be executed if convicted.
In July 2018, after lawyers for Elsheikh demanded a review of the decision to allow the men to be put on trial in the US, Britain’s Home Office temporarily suspended cooperation with US authorities.
Then, in March, the British Supreme Court held that it was unlawful for the United Kingdom to provide evidence to a foreign country that could be used in a death penalty prosecution. The court has not yet issued its final order, Barr said, and even after that there could be additional litigation to block transfer of the evidence.
Alexanda Amon Kotey (right) and El Shafee Elsheikh (left), who were allegedly among four British jihadis who made up a brutal Islamic State cell dubbed ‘The Beatles’
Other members of the cell are said to include Mohammed Emwazi, the group’s ringleader, also known as Jihadi John, who was killed in a US air strike in 2015, while Aine Davis is in jail in Turkey for terror offences, while Aine Davis is in jail in Turkey for terror offences
The IS militants known as the ‘Beatles’ held Western hostages in Syria and tortured many of them, and also beheaded a group of journalists and aid workers in gruesome videos that were released to the world as propaganda.
Emwazi was responsible for the beheading of James Foley, a 40-year-old freelance journalist who was killed in Syria after being kidnapped by militants. A video of that killing circulated online six years ago Wednesday.
His mother, Diane Foley, said in an interview that she was gratified by the Justice Department’s action, which Barr had said would be coming soon in a conversation with her and other victims’ families this month.
‘I feel that both countries ideally should work together to hold these men accountable and give them a fair trial,’ Foley said. ‘If they are guilty, they need to be put away for the rest of their lives.’
She said the only way to stop acts of terrorism was to hold the perpetrators accountable. ‘This would be a huge step, so I am just very, very hopeful and grateful to the attorney general’ and the Justice Department, she said.
The daughter of murdered British aid worker David Haines today blasted the UK government over the bungled prosecution of the terrorists who murdered her father.
Bethany Haines said that she was ‘glad’ the men nicknamed ‘The Beatles’ who beheaded her father in Syria in 2013 will finally face justice – but said the way in which the case has been handled was ‘terrible’
Bethany hit out after the US told Britain it will not insist on the death penalty for two alleged ISIS militants suspected of beheading Western hostages if they are extradited to America to go on trial for murder.
Speaking from her home in Perth, Scotland, Bethany told MailOnline: ‘I’m glad something is finally happening. We’ve waited over two years and have been let down by the UK legal system.
‘However, the way this has been handled has been terrible. Rather than the two countries communicating privately, the US has used the press to communicate, which has made this so much harder than it needed to be.
‘In regards to Bill Barr’s threat to send them to Iraq if the deadline isn’t met, I think this is purely a political move.
‘I urge both governments to remember that this is about real people and our lost loved ones getting justice.’
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘The Government’s priority has always been to protect national security and to deliver justice for the victims and their families.
‘We continue to work closely with international partners to ensure that those who have committed crimes in the name of Daesh are brought to justice.
The Western hostages captured, tortured and killed by the beheading gang
American journalist who kept up fellow prisoners’ morale
James Foley, from Illinois, USA, was a journalist who first went missing in November 2012
James Foley, from Illinois, in the US, was a journalist who first went missing in November 2012.
On his way to an internet cafe, while reporting for the GlobalPost, he had been taken hostage at gunpoint by militants from the group Jabhat al Nusra in Taftanaz, northern Syria.
Jabhat al Nusra subsequently joined forces with ISIS – which did not exist in anything like its current form when Mr Foley was taken.
Mr Foley joined other prisoners, who were European and British, in the ISIS prison and despite attempts to rescue him, he was eventually murdered by his captors.
His fellow prisoners spoke kindly of Foley, who called people ‘Bro’ and never argued over shortages of food, despite meagre rations equating to cup of food-a-day, often sharing his portion and his blanket.
Mr Foley often made efforts to maintain prisoners’ morale, persuading them to play games and to give talks on their favourite subjects.
He even organised a ‘Secret Santa’ during Christmas 2013, encouraging hostages to make gifts out of whatever they could find.
ISIS posted his execution video, titled ‘A Message to America’ to social media as proof of his death.
In scripted remarks before his killing, kneeling in an orange jump suit, he said: ‘I wish I could have the hope of freedom and seeing my family once again.
‘But that ship has sailed. I guess all in all I wish I wasn’t American.’
‘The guy lit up a room’: US freelance journalist who was an avid rugby player
Steven Sotloff, 31, from Miami, who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, vanished in Syria in 2013
US journalist Steven Sotloff, 31, vanished in Syria in August 2013.
Mr Sotloff was not seen again until he appeared in a video released online by ISIS on August 2014, that showed James Foley’s beheading.
In a second clip, published weeks later, entitled ‘A Second Message to America,’ Mr Sotloff appeared in a orange jumpsuit before he is beheaded by an Islamic State fighter.
The grandson of Holocaust survivors, Mr Sotloff grew up Miami, before attending the Kimball Union Academy boarding school in New Hampshire before studying at the University of Central Florida.
While at Kimball, Mr Sotloff was an avid rugby player and on moving to UFC began working for the student newspaper there, the Central Florida Future.
He left this paper in 2005 and began to pursue his dreams of journalism full time.
‘The guy lit up a room. He was always such a loyal, caring and good friend to us,’ former roommate Josh Polsky told the New York Times.
‘If you needed to rely on anybody for anything he would drop everything on a dime for you or for anyone else.’
Sotloff travelled to the Middle East as a freelance journalist and wrote reports from Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Turkey and Syria.
He often had pieces in Time and Foreign Policy magazines.
‘A million people could have told him what he was doing was foolish, as it seemed to us outsiders looking in, but to him it was what he loved to do and you weren’t going to stop him,’ his friend, Emerson Lotzia, said.
‘Steve said it was scary over there. It was dangerous. It wasn’t safe to be over there. He knew it. He kept going back.’
British taxi driver who volunteered as an aid worker
Alan Henning, a father-of-two, was kidnapped on Boxing Day 2013 as he delivered aid to Syrian refugees
Alan Henning, a father-of-two, was kidnapped on Boxing Day 2013 as he delivered aid to Syrian refugees.
The taxi-driver, from Manchester, was kept hostage until he was beheaded by Jihadi John on video in October 2014.
Before he was killed, Mr Henning was forced to tell the camera that he was being murdered in retaliation for parliament’s decision to attack ISIS.
Originally from Salford, he had seen the suffering first hand during a life-changing visit to a refugee camp, which inspired him to help the innocents whose lives were being wrecked by the conflict.
After volunteering with a Muslim charity, the 47-year-old agreed to drive 3,000 miles in a convoy of old ambulances to help the aid effort and take much-needed medical supplies to hospitals in the northern Syrian province of Idlib.
Known as ‘Gadget’ to friends and family for his fondness for technology, Mr Henning had been washing cars in the UK to raise money for donations before setting off on his fourth visit to the country.
He travelled with eight others from charity Al-Fathiha Global, who intended to deliver vital equipment, including NHS ambulances packed with baby milk, nappies, food and defibrillators, but was kidnapped by ISIS extremists on Boxing Day, shortly after making the 4,000-mile journey to the town of Al-Dana.
A fan of Phil Collins, which he enjoyed playing as he drove, Mr Henning was incredibly popular and during one trip insisted on sleeping inside his ambulance instead of a hotel to save money so it could be donated to the refugees instead.
Kasim Jameel, leader of the convoy on which Mr Henning was travelling when he was kidnapped, described his friend as a ‘big softie.’
Dr Shameela Islam-Zulfiqar, who was also in the convoy, said Mr Henning was ‘remarkable.’
‘He’s such a compassionate and selfless human being,’ she said. ‘It just simply wasn’t enough for Alan to sit back and just donate or raise awareness.
He had to get up and do something about what he’d seen Every time the convoys went he had a yearning to go. That really motivated him, to see, practically, first-hand the difference he was making.’
Scottish father-of-two who spent his career as an aid worker
David Haines, who was beheaded a week after Steven Sotloff, was the first British victim of Jihadi John
David Haines, who was beheaded a week after Steven Sotloff, was the first British victim of Jihadi John.
The father-of-two, from Holderness, East Yorkshire, was taken hostage while working for relief agency ACTED in Syria in March this year.
He was captured near the Atmeh refugee camp, just inside the Syrian border with Turkey.
Mr Haines spent his career as an aid worker helping to protect innocent civilians in developing nations.
For more than two decades, he travelled with aid agencies through Syria, Libya, the former Yugoslavia and South Sudan.
He dedicated his life to promoting peace in places of violent conflict and oversaw projects to save civilians from land mines.
The 44-year-old was described as a hero by his family, who were inspired by him to travel the world on further aid missions.
He had a teenage daughter in Scotland from a previous marriage with his first wife, and a four-year-old daughter, Athea, in Croatia from his second wife.
Mr Haines was brought up in Perth, Scotland, and studied at Perth Academy before joining the military aged 17.
According to his online CV he spent 11 years in the military, holding ‘various positions covering security and threat assessments in a number of different countries’ between 1988 and 1999.
It did not specify with which armed forces he served, although his ISIS execution video claimed he had been in the Royal Air Force.
His brother Mike later confirmed this, saying he was an engineer.
26-year-old who was helping refugees while living in Beirut
Peter Kassig, a 26-year-old from Indiana, was beheaded by ISIS executioner Jihadi John in November 2014
Peter Kassig, a 26-year-old from Indiana, started a non-profit organisation called Special Emergency Response and Assistance (SERA).
The Iraq war veteran, who was living in Beirut to provide relief for refugees of the Syrian crisis, was beheaded by ISIS executioner Jihadi John, in November 2014.
Writing on his profile page on fundraising website FundRazr, Mr Kassig said he had previously worked as a medic in a hospital in Tripoli, Lebanon.
He said: ‘When I first started this cause to help those in need, I was on my own but I saw first-hand the shortages in available resources and supplies for people who were suffering in Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey as a result of the violence.
‘The amount of feedback and support from people all around the world motivated me to get organised and develop a platform through which people could send donations to support the continuation of my work.’
Kassig joined the U.S. Army Rangers in 2006 and was deployed to Iraq in 2007.
He was honourably discharged for medical reasons after a brief tour and returned to the United States to study political science.
However, in 2010, he decided to take time off from his studies and began his certification as an emergency medical technician.
He then decided to travel to Beirut to try and help those in need as a result of the Syria crisis.
It was after a short time in the country that he started up his own aid group, SERA.
Few details are publicly known about how Kassig was taken captive.
The 26-year-old humanitarian who said there was always light in darkness
Kayla Mueller, 26, was kept as a sex slave by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi
American Kayla Mueller was a humanitarian aid worker who was kidnapped and taken hostage in August 2013 after leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo, Syria.
She was kept as a sex slave by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, who raped her repeatedly during her captivity.
The fanatics reportedly demanded 5 million euros from Mueller’s family, telling them that that they would send a picture of her body if they were not given money.
Kotey has admitted having contact with her, adding: ‘I took an email from her myself. She was in a room by herself that no one would go in.’
Her death was reported in February 2015 and her name was used as the codeword for the daring US raid that killed her once captor.
Kayla’s body has never been found and her parents live in hope her remains will be recovered.
Mother Martha said: I want people to see the light in Kayla in such utter darkness, how she just said there is always light.
“And I also want people to see that she even told people that as far as where she was, maybe she was supposed to be there, this is where she was supposed to be all along. She always wanted to help.’
‘Paul’: A west London gangster and gun runner turned ISIS guard
The third so called ‘Beatle’, Aine Davis, originally from Hammersmith, travelled to Syria to become an ISIS guard
The fourth so called ‘Beatle’, Aine Davis, originally from Hammersmith, travelled to Syria to become an ISIS guard.
Prior to fleeing the UK, Davis was convicted six times for possessing cannabis and was also heavily involved in gang circles, where he was known as ‘Biggz.’
The gangster worked as a gun runner, selling handguns before the weapons factory he worked for was busted by police.
Davis is thought to have converted to Islam shortly after being jailed in the UK in 2006 for possessing a firearm.
The son of a dinner lady and a John Lewis shopworker, he took the name Hamza and travelled the Middle East.
He met his wife Amal el-Wahabi at Westbourne Park mosque in 2006 and despite the disapproval of her parents, they developed a close relationship.
Davis’ new found interest in religion led him to persuade his girlfriend that they should move to Yemen.
He was detained by police in Turkey last year on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack.
His wife, Amal El-Wahabi, was jailed in 2014 for funding terrorism.
When police raided his wife’s home, Davis’s iPod revealed he used to listen to lectures by radical American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.
‘George’: Former mechanic who beheaded 27 hostages
The fourth and final member of the infamous ISIS execution squad with Jihadi John El Shafee Elsheikh (pictured, as a teen)
The third member of the infamous ISIS execution squad with Jihadi John El Shafee Elsheikh.
Described as a ‘kind and softly spoken’ former fairground mechanic, from west London, he turned into a ISIS extremist who was part of the gang that beheaded 27 hostages and tortured many more in Syria.
Elsheikh grew up in White City, just a few miles other members of the cell, and his mother said he was radicalised at local mosques within weeks of hearing sermons by infamous hate preacher Hani al-Sibai.
He later travelled to Syria in 2012 to fight his holy war, and his younger brother Mahmoud followed him – and was killed fighting in Iraq last year.
Elsheikh’s identity was confirmed by a former US counter-terrorism official and investigators working to find The Beatles.
The terrorist, who lived in Syria with two wives and two young children, has been captured after being hunted by security services on both sides of the Atlantic.
His mother, Maha Elgizouli, revealed how the family moved to White City in west London when Elsheikh was just five years old, along with his two brothers.
Both of his parents had fled the civil war in Sudan in the 1990s – where they were both members of the Communist Party – but the father, a poet, left the family when Elsheikh was just seven years old.
They grew up a few miles from the first of the infamous Beatles group to be exposed, Mohammed Emwazi – who later became known as Jihadi John but was killed in a drone strike in 2015.
‘Ringo’: A ‘polite’ west London boy who fought for ISIS
Alexanda Kotey, said to be a fan of Queens Park Rangers, was also described by neighbours as a ‘polite’ boy
Alexanda Kotey, said to be a fan of Queens Park Rangers, was once described by neighbours as a ‘polite’ boy.
But after he left the UK to join ISIS in Syria, he used social media to continue radicalising young men, an old friend told ITV.
They added: ‘The way he secretly operated he was a roadman, a gangster.
‘He had the skills of influencing people he could see as influential or vulnerable so they could bring their friends in.
‘They would have used the same tactics as gangs to recruit people. Like grooming, he gave them a sense of belonging.
‘They couldn’t get job or uni course they wanted.
‘Through remote network and services, he would have people he delegated responsibility to. They could have helped and advise them on how to get to Syria.’
Father-of-two Kotey, who is half Ghanaian, half Greek Cypriot, is believed to have been one of ISIS’ key recruiters and helped them radicalise young men from London.
He used to be a member of the Greek Orthodox Church but is said to have converted to Islam in his teens.
He attended the al-Manaar mosque in Ladbroke Grove, west London, with Emwazi and Davis, it was reported.
A local community worker said the trio were ‘physically ejected’ from the mosque because of their extremist views.
They said ‘He would definitely be standing there with, I’d say a dozen boys all listening to him. He was the speaker. He was the spokesman in that little group.
‘It was Alex most definitely who was the lynchpin. The mosque did so much to keep these people at the fringes.’
‘John’: Man Utd fan who turned into the most reviled man in the world
Mohammed Emwazi later became the most reviled man in the world as ISIS’s most notorious executioner Jihadi John
Kuwaiti born Mohammed Emwazi, became the most reviled man in the world as ISIS’s most notorious executioner Jihadi John.
However, reports suggest he appeared to embrace British life after moving to the country as a six-year-old in 1993.
Neighbours remember a polite, quiet boy who supported Manchester United, wore ‘Western clothing’ and played football on the affluent streets of west London.
He became more religious after moving to Quintin Kynaston Community Academy, a secondary school in St John’s Wood, in 1999.
But it was only after he won a place studying computing at the University of Westminster that his behaviour began to change.
The university has since been linked with several proponents of radical Islam – and Emwazi appeared to have fallen under their sway.
He began attending different mosques and was known to associate with Bilal el-Berjawi, who was killed by a drone strike in Somalia four years ago.
Emwazi, Alexanda Kotey and Aine Davis all attended the al-Manaar mosque in Labroke Grove, where Kotey emerged as the ring leader.
The knife-wielding killer - dubbed ‘Jihadi John’ – beheaded hostages, including British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, on camera.
Emwazi is also believed to have killed the American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, as well as Abdul-Rahman Kassig, an aid worker.
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- At last we have an Opposition: New Labour leader Keir Starmer tears into Dominic Raab over coronavirus testing and PPE failures in first virtual PMQs - as Foreign Secretary blames 'logistical' issues
- Why can't patients in care homes go to empty Nightingales? Healthy residents 'are being sacrificed to coronavirus' after government ORDERS homes to take infected patients to free up NHS beds amid claims 4,000 lives have been lost
- Bank of England boss Andrew Bailey warns against easing social distancing too early and says the psychological effects of a 'false start' that forces Britons back into lockdown could damage economy more
- All the celebs battling coronavirus from pop stars and actors to royalty
- Inside the OED: can the world’s biggest dictionary survive the internet?
- Could ministers be ready to start planning exit in 10 days? Government to get green light to prepare for 'next phase' after lockdown extension today - and coffee shops and restaurants could reopen first
- HENRY DEEDES: In cyber Commons, Jeremy Corbyn is back where he belongs... and new boy Keir Starmer plays a blinder
Furious families of the ISIS 'Beatles' victims slam bungling UK legal system for letting them 'escape justice' in the US as it's revealed Britain STILL can't send crucial evidence to America because it violates their 'data protection rights' have 6190 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at August 20, 2020. This is cached page on Health Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.