Thursday, 17 October, 2019

President Trump: Worst of the worst ISIS members now in United States custody

Hussein Malla  AP FILE Hussein Malla AP FILE
Deanna Wagner | 11 October, 2019, 16:34

US President Donald Trump said that two Britons, who are accused of being part of an Islamic State (IS) terror group cell which kidnapped and murdered Western hostages, have been taken out of Syria to "a secure location controlled" by Washington, according to reports on Tuesday.

The duo were part of a group of four who are accused of being involved in the apparently filmed beheadings of British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning and American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

Foley says Attorney General William Barr has told her he wanted to see them held accountable.

The U.S. -backed Syrian Democratic Forces captured Alexanda Amon Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh in January a year ago in eastern Syria, and they were held in the north of the country by Kurdish forces.

Other members of the IS cell - dubbed "The Beatles" due to their British accents - included Mohammed Emwazi, known as Jihadi John, who was killed in a U.S. air strike in 2015, and Aine Davis, who has been jailed in Turkey. "It be an abdication of our responsibility to substantiate that that safety for our possess citizens and allies".

But guarding those prisoners is now expected to be less of a priority for the Kurdish forces as they rush to defend their territory against the invading Turkish military.

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The "ringleader" Mohammed Emwazi - known as Jihadi John - was killed in a U.S. air strike in 2015, and Aine Davis has been in a Turkish jail since 2017.

British and European officials have said they fear that trials in home countries could prove hard because the offences took place overseas, in Syria and Iraq, and the witnesses and evidence are in those countries. Attacks had taken place in the immediate vicinity, they said.

The pair were removed from Syria, the president added, in case new fighting between Turkish and Kurdish forces gets out of hand. "The treatment had to be harsh to keep them in the state of mind" of compliance. "The prisoners had to be kept continuously below stress".

He said the harsh treatment included headlocks, punches and stress positions. However he denied any involvement in mock executions or waterboarding. He stated Emwazi noticed the killing of journalists and succor workers as warranted because they'd "come to interfere in our internal affairs". "They don't want those people out any more than we do", Mr Trump said. Both men agreed to talk to The Washington Put up, and Kurdish safety officers facilitated separate interviews at a facility in Rmeilan, Syria.

A fourth "Beatle", Aine Davis, was convicted in Turkey of membership in a terrorist organization and sentenced to seven years in prison.