, Sotloff and Mueller were beheaded and photographs of Mueller’s lifeless body were sent to her family via an email address ISIS used to negotiate ransoms with hostages
’ familias, Assistant US Attorney Dennis Fitzpatrick said during the plea hearing
Fitzpatrick said that Kotey, Mohammed Emwazi and El Shafee Elsheikh had been friends since a “young age.” Elsheikh and Kotey joined together for a protest in London on the 10th anniversary of September 11 calling for the release of Muslim prisoners who were held at Guantanamo Bay. During that protest, they were detained and became known by the police, Fitzpatrick dijo.
Kotey came to the court Thursday with a written summary of his actions that dated back to when he had left the United Kingdom and traveled to Syria with Emwazi in 2012.
Kotey and Elsheikh, ahora 33, who were known as “the Beatles” because of their British accents, had their United Kingdom citizenships revoked for joining ISIS and becoming a national security threat.
Emwazi was killed in a 2015 drone strike and Kotey and Elsheikh were detained in January 2018.
Kotey and Elsheikh were transferred to the US last year after being held in US detention overseas for allegedly participating in an ISIS execution cell
Los padres, siblings and other relatives of all the American victims were in court for the plea hearing Thursday and are expected to give impact statements at Kotey’s sentencing.
In remarks following the hearing, Diane Foley, the mother of James Foley, praised those who were involved with the investigation and prosecution of Kotey.
“This accountability is essential for anyone who kidnaps or unjustly detains Americans abroad, if our country ever wishes to deter hostage-taking,” ella dijo.
Foley also urged the US government “to prioritize the return of all US nationals kidnapped or wrongfully detained abroad” and further called on “Presidente Biden, our US Congress and all Americans to demand that our country protect and assist any innocent US national held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad.”
en un 2019 entrevista con CNN
, Kotey admitted to taking email addresses from the European hostages and working with other ISIS fighters to negotiate ransoms as well as participating in a failed
2016 London-based assassination plot that was meant to kill British soldiers and police officers
In that same interview, Elsheikh said he had been involved in ransom negotiations and apologized for his role. Kotey declined to offer an apology.
The charges against them carry a maximum sentence of death, but in August 2020 then-Attorney General William Barr took that option off the table in order to secure their extradition and prosecute them in the US with evidence the UK had gathered against them.
Attorneys for Elsheikh were also present for the plea hearing Thursday and declined to comment. Elsheikh’s case is still pending.
After Kotey serves 15 years of his expected sentence, he is expected be transferred to the UK for prosecution there.