Member of Islamic State ‘Beatles’ cell gets life in jail for murdering US hostages

Member of an Islamic State cell called ‘Beatles’ for their British accents was handed lifetime prison sentence in US for taking part in beheading American hostages. Alexanda Kotey had pleaded guilty to murdering US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid workers Kayla Mueller and Peter Kassig.

The sentencing hearing was held by US District Judge TS Ellis in Alexandria, Virginia. Family members of the hostages were present at the emotionally charged sentencing.

“I will not hate you,” Kassig’s mother, Paula Kassig, said to Kotey during the hearing. “It would give sadness, pain and bitterness too much power over me. I choose to let my heart be broken open, not broken apart.”

Kotey’s lawyer said during the court hearing that, in an effort to “make amends,” Kotey is meeting with some family members of victims.

The judge agreed to keep Kotey detained in Alexandria until July. This arrangement would facilitate the meetings.

Kotey was a citizen of the United Kingdom, but the British government withdrew his citizenship. His Islamic State cell took journalists and aid workers hostage, tortured them and circulated videotapes of gruesome beheadings on the internet.


Kotey admitted to inflicting torture on hostages, including waterboarding and electric shocks with a stun gun.