Alexandria, Virginia — El Shafee Elsheikh, one of the 3 British guys accused of working a brutal ISIS hostage-taking scheme, turned into convicted on all counts via way of means of a federal jury in Virginia for his function withinside the plot which brought about the deaths of 4 Americans.
The jury in Alexandria, Virginia, determined Elsheikh responsible on 8 charges, which includes 4 counts of hostage taking ensuing in death, homicide conspiracy and conspiracy to offer fabric assist to a terrorist organization. He faces existence in prison, with sentencing scheduled for August 12.
Collectively called the “Beatles” for his or her British accents, Elsheikh and his co-conspirators Mohammed Emwazi and Alexanda Kotey labored collectively to kidnap and abuse extra than dozen Western hostages, in step with prosecutors. He turned into convicted for taking part withinside the plot that brought about the deaths of American hostages James Foley, Peter Kassig, Kayla Mueller and Steven Sotloff.
“This defendant placed the phobia in terrorism himself,” First Assistant U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh stated for the duration of final arguments on Wednesday.
Foley, Kassig and Sotloff had been all beheaded in a chain of grotesque ISIS propaganda motion pictures and photos launched in 2014. ISIS had claimed Mueller turned into killed in a 2015 airstrike even as she turned into in Syria, however prosecutors Wednesday stated they now trust ISIS killed her after protecting her as a slave and sexually abusing her for a yr and a half.
Elsheikh turned into now no longer accused of sporting out the act of killing the hostages himself, however turned into charged with taking part withinside the kidnapping and torture that brought about the murders of the hostages.
Diane Foley, James Foley’s mother, and Carl Mueller, Kayla Mueller’s father, spoke to journalists following the verdict. Both had been thrilled that justice were done.
“I suppose that there is a relief. This has been pretty an ordeal. Truly laborious for plenty families. Emotionally laborious and physically,” Diane Foley stated. “I could desire those 4 younger Americans could encourage different younger Americans to have that type of braveness. That ethical braveness to dare to exit withinside the world, care approximately others, record the truth.”
Carl Mueller stated the tale of what passed off to the victims “wishes to be advised technology after technology and now no longer forgotten.”
“This is a small piece of justice as a way to assist us heal a little, however I do not suppose there’ll ever be closure,” he stated. “We are all close. I consult with it generally as a membership that no one desires to be in. Due to situations out of our manipulate we’re on this membership.”
Elsheikh and Kotey had been in the long run captured collectively and held via way of means of Syrian Defense Forces earlier than Britain agreed to extradite them to the U.S. for trial. Kotey has agreed to plead responsible in change for a existence sentence. Emwazi, called “Jihadi John” and because the discern who executed among the hostage executions, turned into killed in Syria in 2015.
During the trial, protection lawyer Nina Ginsberg did now no longer deny Elsheikh had traveled to Syria and joined ISIS or that he knew Emwazi and Kotey. However, she contended that the authorities did now no longer show that Elsheikh turned into one of the 3 Beatles. The protection claims he’s simply an ISIS soldier.
“Mr. Elsheikh turned into by no means recognized on this court docket via way of means of any of the previous hostages,” Ginsberg stated.