IS Beatle ‘Jihadi George’ involved in ‘brutal hostage taking scheme’, court told

A British-born member of the so-called Islamic State Beatles nicknamed Jihadi George was part of a “brutal hostage taking scheme” where captors “seemed to enjoy” beating detainees, a court in the US has heard.

Prosecutors say El Shafee Elsheikh and two other Britons were “utterly terrifying” and abuse carried out was “unrelenting and unpredictable”.

Elsheikh has gone on trial in the US on charges of hostage-taking and conspiring to murder journalists and aid workers in Syria.

He was accused of being a member of the so-called Islamic State Beatles terror cell – they were given the nickname by their alleged captives because of their English accents.

Elsheikh is accused of conspiracy to commit murder and lethal hostage-taking. He denies the charges.

The 33-year-old was captured in January 2018.

Read more: Who are the Islamic State fighters nicknamed ‘The Beatles’?

More on Islamic State

One member of the group, Alexanda Kotey, who pleaded guilty to the murders of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid workers Kayla Mueller and Peter Kassig last year, will be sentenced next month.

Mohammed Emwazi, who was nicknamed Jihadi John, was killed in a drone strike in Syria at the end of 2015.

Final group member Aine Lesley Davis was convicted of terrorism charges in Turkey in 2017.

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