Trump Says U.S. Holds ‘Most Dangerous’ Islamic State Terrorists in Syria

Clay Curtis
October 11, 2019

An American woman whose son was killed by the Islamic State said Thursday that she is hopeful the transfer to US custody of two British militants brings them a step closer to criminal charges.

The duo were part of a group of four who are accused of being involved in the apparently filmed beheadings of British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning and American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. In recent days, Attorney General William Barr asked Trump to make securing the detention of the two men a "priority" so they could be eventually prosecuted in the United States, and the president "immediately agreed", according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Turkey has launched an assault on the Syrian Kurdish forces - with which the U.S. partnered to combat the Islamic State group - sparking fears that the offensive could lead to captured fighters they held escaping and reconstituting the group.

The two were among a cell dubbed "the Beatles" by some of their victims because of their British accents.

Britain has refused to assume responsibility for the two "Beatles", Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, not wanting to risk domestic turmoil by repatriating them.

Trump said that he had spoken to Boris Johnson on the subject of ISIS prisoners, but did not say whether he was referring to Kotey and Elsheikh. Foley said she was troubled by President Trump's decision to pull American troops from their positions near the border alongside their Kurdish allies, a move she said she considers an "abandonment".

Numerous jails are near the border, although SDF sources denied reports that the prisons had been hit by Turkish shells.

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The British and American hostages weren't included in that video, he stated, because their governments weren't negotiating.

"They were not pampered", Elsheikh said. "The therapy had to be harsh to set up them within the body of mind" of compliance.

This week, the pair were tracked down by ITV News. However he denied any involvement in mock executions or waterboarding.

Kotey said he saw Emwazi, better known as "Jihadi John", beat prisoners and threaten to waterboard them "as if he had previously" done so. He stated Emwazi noticed the killing of journalists and succor workers as warranted because they'd "come to interfere in our internal affairs".

"We said we don't want them either, but somebody has to watch over them", he told reporters.

That decision had been challenged by Elsheikh's mother, who took her case to the supreme court in London, to prevent the two men being extradited to the United States and instead put on trial in their home country.

Mekhennet reported from Rmeilan, Syria. The other, Aine Davis, was caught in Turkey and jailed for seven and half years in 2017, for being a member of a terror organisation.

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