British national El Shafi El Sheikh has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the Islamic State scheme that took about 20 Westerners hostage a decade ago.
The Elsheikh hostages gave him a somewhat whimsical nickname — he was called “Beetle” along with other English-accented prisoners — but the nickname belied the viciousness of his actions. was
“This indictment has exposed the vicious and sadistic ISIS Beatles,” said assistant federal prosecutor Raj Raj, noting that Elsheikh and the other Beatles wore masks whenever they appeared before their hostages. Parekh said.
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At his sentencing hearing in federal district court in Alexandria, he is the most notorious and highest-ranking member of the Islamic State group ever convicted in a U.S. court, prosecutors said. said Friday. A life sentence was a foregone conclusion after a jury took hostages earlier this year and convicted him of death and other crimes.
The conviction revolved around the deaths of four American hostages: James Foley, Stephen Sotloff, Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller. All but Mueller were executed by videotaped decapitation that was circulated online. Muller was forced into slavery and raped multiple times by Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before being murdered.
Between 2012 and 2015, 26 people were taken hostage while IS controlled large swaths of Iraq and Syria.
The conviction handed down a mandatory life sentence. The United States has agreed not to pursue the death sentence as part of a deal to ensure the extradition of Elsheikh and his friend Alexander Koty, who are already sentenced to life in prison.
Parekh said it was difficult to convey the brutality of Elsheikh’s actions. “We lack the vocabulary for such pain,” he said, paraphrasing Dante’s Inferno.
Still, Elsheikh and the Beatles victims testified at Friday’s hearings and spoke out about what they’d been through. Danish photographer Daniel Rai Ottsen, who was released after paying a ransom, said his worst moments were the moments of silence during and after his confinement, when he was alone in his thoughts.
He said he was almost relieved when he was beaten by Elsheikh and the Beatles.
“I now find that I can only focus on my pain, which is much easier than being alone with your thoughts,” he said.
Ottosen was particularly close to Foley and remembered the farewell letter Foley wrote to his family, so he was able to dictate it to Foley’s parents when he was released.
Foley’s mother, Diane Foley, said holding Elsheikh accountable at the trial would send a message of deterrence to other hostage-takers.
“Hate has really overwhelmed your humanity,” she told El Sheikh on the eighth Friday since James Foley’s beheading.
At trial, surviving hostages testified that they feared the Beatles would frequently move and move to various prisons. I sent an email requesting payment to.
They also routinely beat and tortured hostages, making them fight each other until they passed out, threatened them with waterboarding, and forced them to see images of murdered hostages.
IS ‘Beatles’ get life for US death
Source link IS ‘Beatles’ get life for US death