Apr 14, 2022 - World

British member of ISIS cell convicted for role in death of Americans

Carl Mueller (center), the father of hostage Kayla Mueller, who was slain by Islamic State militants, leaves the courthouse during the trial of ISIS member El Shafee Elsheikh in Alexandria, Va., on April 6. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

A federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia, found British national El Shafee Elsheikh guilty on all charges related to his membership in an ISIS cell also known as "the Beatles," which kidnapped, tortured, and beheaded prisoners, AP reported.

Why it matters: Elsheikh's conviction makes him the "first and only" member of the notorious ISIS cell to be convicted by an American jury, per the Washington Post.

Catch up quick: Elsheikh was captured in 2018 alongside another member of the group, Alexanda Amon Kotey. The two were believed to be responsible for the 2014 execution of American journalist James Foley and other U.S. and British hostages.

The big picture: The jury deliberated for only four hours before reaching their decision. Elsheikh now faces up to a life sentence in prison, per AP.

  • The guilty verdict affirms Elsheikh membership in the Beatles — named for the members' British accents — despite the fact that none of the surviving hostages could explicitly identify him as their former captor, due to the care the Beatles took to hide their identities, per AP.
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