The American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces captured two notorious British members of an Islamic State insurgent cell commonly dubbed “The Beatles” and known for beheading hostages, U.S. military officials said Thursday.
Air Force Col. John Thomas said that El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Amon Kotey were captured in early January in eastern Syria. The two men are among four members of the ISIS cell that captured, tortured and beheaded more than two dozen hostages including American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and American aid worker Peter Kassig.
The State Department has imposed sanctions on both men. They are believed to be linked to the British terrorist known as Jihadi John, the masked ISIS militant who appeared in several videos depicting the graphic beheadings of Western hostages.