Alleged 4th member of IS 'Beatles' terror cell charged in the UK

Thursday, 11 August 2022 (17:11 IST)
British police charged a 38-year-old man accused of being a member of a terror cell dubbed "the Beatles," of the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) group, with terrorism offences on Thursday.

He was arrested on arrival at UK's Luton airport. He was flying after being released from jail in Turkey, where he served a seven-and-a-half-year sentence for being a member of IS.

The Crown Prosecution Service said that he "has been charged with terrorism offences and possession of a firearm for a purpose connected with terrorism."

He is scheduled to appear before a London court Thursday morning.

Convicted in Turkey, but denies charges

The suspect has been accused of being part of a notorious IS cell, "the Beatles," that allegedly held and tortured dozens of foreign hostages between 2012 and 2015.

He was arrested in Turkey in 2015, and convicted in 2017 of being a member of IS. During his trial there, he denied being one of the Beatles.

The IS cell was known as "the Beatles" by their hostages because they were a quartet and because of their British accents.

The four members of the terror cell are accused of being involved in the murders of American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff , as well as American aid workers, Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller, among others.

They are accused of torturing hostages — both physically and psychologically — as well.

The terror cell

Alexanda Kotey, a 38-year former British national, extradited from the UK to the US in 2020, pleaded guilty to charges of his role in the deaths of hostages in September 2021. Kotey was sentenced to life in prison in April.

El Shafee Elsheikh, 34, also a former British national was extradited to the US around the same time and found guilty of all charges in April. He will be sentenced next week.

Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born British citizen, known as "Jihadi John," or the masked man with a British accent who beheaded several hostages held by the IS, was a member of the cell as too. He was killed by a US drone strike in Syria in 2015.

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