Alexanda Kotey pleaded guilty in September to taking part in a hostage scheme that led to the deaths of Americans, Japanese and British citizens in Syria. As part of his plea, Kotey will be transferred to the UK where members of his family live to serve the rest of his term after serving 15 years in the US.
“You get a life sentence,” Ellis said, for what he called “about the most serious crimes that can be committed.”
After handing down his sentence, Ellis said he hoped it would serve as a deterrence to future terror groups. “We don’t give up,” Ellis said of the US government. “We will look for you. We will find you.”
Before his sentencing
, 12 family members of the victims and two former hostages of the group gave gut-wrenching statements in court of their loss and continued struggle in the wake of the tragedy
— at times speaking directly to Kotey and his co-defendant El Shafee Elsheikh
, who was convicted by a jury in the same court room weeks earlier
Both men sat in the courtroom to hear the family’s remarks.