|Known for||alleged to have played a role in Daesh atrocities|
Kotey spent his youth in London, England. The Telegraph reports he was a follower of a local football team, the Queen's Park Rangers, and dreamed of joining the team, when he grew up. His Syrian captors say Kotey worked as a drug dealer, in London, prior to his radicalization.
Time in Daesh
In 2014 and 2015 Daesh held dozens of European and North American captives, and the brutal conditions of their detention was widely reported. Four English speaking Daesh fighters played a central role in the brutality. Their identities were initially either not known. or security officials did not make their identities known to the public, so the press dubbed the four as the Jihadi Beatles. Kotey was reported to have been one of the particularly brutal guards with UK accents.
On January 10, 2017, the U.S. Department of State formally designated Kotey as a terrorist, under the athority of Executive Order 13224. This designation prohibited US citizens, financial institutions, and other US corporations, from having any financial dealings with him.
Daesh controlled areas of Syria and Iraq underwent a steady erosion in 2015, 2016 and 2017, with their remaining enclaves collapsing in late 2017 and early 2018. Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, a friend from London, who was also reported to have been one of the Jihadi Beatles, were captured trying to flee the region, on January 24, 2018.
Extradition to the United States
Detention in Guantanamo could be indefinite detention, without charge, if transferred to US custody, for a civilian trial, they would likely be detained at the Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, if they were convicted. The Independent described how bleak conditions would be at the Florence Supermax, confinement to a featureless cell, for 23 hours a day, practically no human contact, exercise periods in a small featureless courtyard, near their cell.
Another option under consideration is trial at the International Court in the Hague. According to The Independent, the UK government would first strip Kotey and Elsheikh of UK citizenship, prior to agreeing to transfer to the Hague.
- Rob Merrick. Britain 'may not challenge' Donald Trump if he decides to send jihadi 'Beatles' to Guantanamo, Justice Secretary says: Britain has yet to make any representations to Washington because it must first ‘consider our options’', David Gauke says, The Independent, 2018-02-11. Retrieved on 2018-02-11. “But he refused to say the Government would intervene if the US President opted to send the pair to the notorious detention centre in Cuba for suspected terrorists.”
- Rohit Kachroo. Alexanda Kotey image: ITV News obtains exclusive first photo of IS 'Beatle' in detention, ITV, 2018-02-09. Retrieved on 2018-02-11. “The bearded Kotey is seen in a tatty grey t-shirt after being captured in Syria in January, trying to smuggle himself into Turkey.”
- Lolita C. Baldur. US wants foreign fighters in Syria to face justice at home, National Post, 2018-02-11. Retrieved on 2018-02-11. “U.S. officials have interrogated the men, who were part of the IS 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.”
- Martin Evans, Josie Ensor, Steve Bird, Patrick Sawer,. Revealed: How two London schoolboys became the world’s most wanted murderers, The Telegraph (UK), 2018-02-09. Retrieved on 2018-02-11. “Growing up in west London in the 1990s, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh had many things in common, not least their passion for Queens Park Rangers - the local football team.”
- Rachel Weiner, Justin Jouvenal. British ISIS militant guilty in kidnapping, torture and killing of 4 American hostages, Washington Post, 2022-04-15. Retrieved on 2022-04-15. “Surviving hostages testified that John Cantlie, a British journalist, came up with “the Beatles” as a code name for the particularly cruel guards that had British accents.”
- State Department Terrorist Designation of Alexanda Amon Kotey. U.S. Department of State (2017-01-10). Retrieved on 2018-02-12. “The Department of State has designated Alexanda Amon Kotey as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons and groups determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.”
- Ian Cobain, Vikram Dodd. Put 'Beatles' Isis fighters on trial, victims' families say: Families express relief and call for Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh to be put on trial, The Guardian, 2018-02-09. Retrieved on 2018-02-11. “Relatives of the victims of an Islamic State torture and murder cell known as “the Beatles” have expressed relief that the two remaining members have been captured and said they wanted to see them stand trial.”
- Anthony Loyd. We are exposing West’s double standards, boast Isis suspects Kotey and ElSheikh, The Times, Times Newspapers Limited, 2018-04-27.