"The Beatles" are charged with kidnapping and death charges of James Wright Foley, Steven Joel Sotloff, Peter Edward Kassig, and Kayla Jean Mueller
(KYMA, KECY) - The U.S. federal court has charged two ISIS fighters with the deaths of four American journalists.
Former British citizens Alexanda Amon Kotey, 36, and El Shafee Elsheikh, 32, are expected to be in court in Virginia on Wednesday.
“These charges are the product of many years of hard work in pursuit of justice for our citizens slain by ISIS. Although we cannot bring them back, we can and will seek justice for them, their families, and for all Americans,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.
“Today, we remember the victims, Jim Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig, and Kayla Mueller, and their families who are forever affected by these senseless acts of violence,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “These families have suffered with the painful loss of their loved ones at the hands of brutal killers; today's charges demonstrate the FBI's dedication and commitment to giving them the justice they deserve. We, along with our partners in the U.S. Government, remain steadfast in our duty to bring to justice those who have harmed our citizens -- no matter where they are, and no matter how long it takes. I'm grateful to the men and women of the FBI, the victims' families, and our domestic and international partners, for their tireless efforts to bring us to where we stand today with the prosecution of these men on U.S. soil.”
According to allegations from 2012 to 2015, ISIS fighters participated in the kidnapping of American and European hostages in Syria.
The U.S. Department of Justice says the two men participated in violent acts against American citizens James Wright Foley, Kayla Jean Mueller, Steven Joel Sotloff, and Peter Edward Kassig.
Due to the suspects' accents, they were referred to by hostages as "The Beatles."
In 2014, ISIS released videos of the beheadings of Foley, Sotloff, and British citizens David Haines and Alan Henning.
In November 2014, ISIS released a video depicting the decapitated head of Kassig.
In January 2015, ISIS released videos with images of two dead Japanese citizens.
“Kotey and Elsheikh are alleged to have committed horrific crimes in support of ISIS, including hostage taking resulting in the deaths of four American citizens,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Their alleged acts have shattered the lives of four American families. What each these families have sought more than anything else is for these defendants to have their day in court. Well, that day has come. While we cannot return their loved ones or undo the pain that these families face each day, we can do everything possible to ensure that the defendants are held accountable for their alleged savage actions.”
The American Victims
James Wright Foley – In November 2012, Kotey, Elsheikh, Emwazi, and other ISIS fighters forcibly seized and detained Foley, a citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom. On or about Aug. 19, 2014, ISIS’s media center released a video depicting Emwazi beheading Foley.
Kayla Jean Mueller – In August 2013, ISIS fighters forcibly seized and detained Mueller in Syria. Beginning in or about October 2014, Baghdadi sexually abused Mueller against her will while she was held captive in Syria. On or about Feb. 7, 2015, Mueller’s family received an email from ISIS fighters confirming Mueller’s death in Syria.
Steven Joel Sotloff – In August 2013, ISIS fighters forcibly seized and detained Sotloff in Syria. On or about Sept. 2, 2014, ISIS’s media center released a video depicting Emwazi beheading Sotloff.
Peter Edward Kassig – In October 2013, ISIS fighters forcibly seized and detained Kassig in Syria. On or about Nov. 16, 2014, ISIS’s media center released a video depicting the decapitated head of Kassig.