Iraq News

US blacklists member of 'Beatles' ISIL cell

The US on Tuesday (January 10th) blacklisted a surviving British member of the notorious "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) kidnapping cell popularly known as "The Beatles" as a global terrorist threat, AFP reported.

It identified 33-year-old British Ghanaian jihadist Alexanda Amon Kotey as a member of the ISIL unit that beheaded two dozen hostages in Syria.

Among those murdered were three Americans -- journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid worker Peter Kassig -- and British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning.

Some of the group's hostages were released and later revealed their captors spoke with British accents and were nicknamed The Beatles after the 1960s rock group by their victims.

The group leader and most notorious executioner, Mohamed Emwazi or "Jihadi John", was killed last year in a strike by the international coalition fighting ISIL.

But, according to the US designation, London-born Kotey is still thought to be at large somewhere in or near Syria's al-Raqa.

"As a guard for the cell, Kotey likely engaged in the group's executions and exceptionally cruel torture methods, including electric shock and waterboarding," the statement said.

Kotey is also known by several aliases, including Abu Salih al-Britani. He was born in the Paddington district of London and holds British, Ghanaian and Greek Cypriot nationality.

As a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist", US citizens are forbidden from dealing with him and world law enforcement is informed that he "is actively engaged in terrorism".

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