The Latest: YPG official confirms British extremist detained
LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the capture of two British Islamic State members (all times local):
An official with the main Kurdish force in Syria says U.S.-backed fighters have captured a British extremist last month trying to flee to Turkey.
Redur Khalil of the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, said a member of the Islamic State group, Alexanda Amon Kotey, 35, was detained on Jan. 24.
Khalil told The Associated Press that Kotey, who was known among the extremists as Abu Saleh, was detained by an anti-terrorism unit of the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces in the northern Raqqa province, once an IS stronghold.
U.S. officials have confirmed that El Shafee Elsheikh and Kotey, who grew up in London before traveling to the Middle East to join IS, were captured in early January in eastern Syria. They were part of an insurgent cell — commonly dubbed “The Beatles” because of their British accents — known for beheading hostages.
Khalil said Kotey was planning to flee to Turkey in cooperation with friends on the Turkish side of the border.
Asked about Elsheikh, Khalil refused to comment.
He added that Kotey is being held by the SDF for questioning.
A Frenchmen who survived detention by Islamic State fighters says he wants justice, not revenge, now that two members of the notorious insurgent cell dubbed “The Beatles” have been captured.
Journalist Nicolas Henin says the two men should be tried in Britain, not shipped to Guantanamo Bay, because revenge will just breed more violence.
Henin told the BBC on Friday he would like to see all foreign fighters brought back to their home countries for trial because “the worst thing we can do with the terrorist is to deprive him from his rights, because then you make a terrorist become a victim, and if you victimize someone then you just fuel his narrative and you just confirm his narrative. So everybody has a right for a fair trial and for justice.”
The mother of slain hostage James Foley says she wants two British men who were part of the Islamic State cell that killed her son to be tried and imprisoned for the rest of their lives.
Diane Foley welcomed the capture of the men who were part of a group known as “The Beatles” because of their British accents.
Foley told the BBC on Friday that the arrests announced Thursday won’t bring her son back, but “hopefully it protects others from this kind of crime.”
She says “their crimes are beyond imagination. They really have not done anything good in the world, so I think they need to spend the rest of their life being held.”
James Foley was killed on Aug. 19, 2014, after being held hostage for several months.