FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) – One of two British nationals accused of joining the Islamic State and plotting to torture and mutilate American and European Syrians is due to stand trial.
Federal court reports show that a change of agreement was scheduled for Thursday in the U.S. Regional Court in Alexandria, Virginia, for Alexanda Amon Kotey.
Kotey is one of four members of the Islamic State dubbed “Beatles” who were taken into custody for their British language.
Kotey and another man, El Shafee Elsheikh, were brought to the US last year to face charges.
Court documents do not indicate the case for which Kotey should petition. The case is being investigated in connection with the deaths of four American terrorists – James Foley, journalist Steven Sotloff and aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller – as well as European and Japanese citizens who were also held hostage.
The Department of Justice, in order to finance their reimbursement, promised that the prosecutor would not be executed.
There is nothing in the indictment that Elsheikh has reached an agreement.
Raj Parekh, U.S. Attorney General for the Eastern District of Virginia and a member of the attorney general for Kotey and Elsheikh’s case, declined to comment Tuesday evening.
Geremy Kamens, the federal state attorney representing Kotey, also declined to comment.
A third Beatle, Mohammed Emwazi, also known as “jihadi John,” was killed in a 2015 air raid and a fourth is in prison in Turkey.
The lawsuit alleges that Kotey and Elsheikh relocated from London to Syria in 2012 as “perpetrators of atrocities” that kidnapped American and European citizens involving killings, deception, intimidation by Tasers, deterrence and other atrocities.
Opponents say the men worked alongside an IS spokesman who told the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed in a U.S. military operation last year.
Defendant accuses Kotey and Elsheikh of being involved in the abduction of Foley and other detainees. He is said to be in charge of the detention center and was responsible for relocating the detainees, as well as for having committed “long-term physical and psychological abuse.”
In July, protesters described the couple as “serious offenders” in the detention of four American prisoners. Thinking that Thursday’s petition would go ahead as planned, Kotey and his detractors offered a statement of what would elaborate on their actions.
The pair were captured in Syria in 2018 by a US-backed force in Syria while trying to flee to Turkey. In an interview he filed before being brought to the US, the men admitted that they had helped to get emails from Mueller that could be used to send ransom claims. Mueller was assassinated in 2015 after 18 months in an IS prison.
The protest alleges the killing of a Syrian prisoner in 2014 and that the two have forced Western prisoners to watch. Kotey advised the detainees to kneel while watching the killings and have placards demanding their release. Emwazi shot the prisoner in the head while Elsheikh videotaped to kill him. Elsheikh told one of the detainees, “You are following,” the protesters said.
Elsheikh is due to be arraigned in January.
Associated Press correspondent Eric Tucker contributed to the report from Washington.