Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020

ISIS ‘Beatles’ fear imprisonment in hellhole US jail – ‘fate worse than death’

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Two Brit jihadis who allegedly formed part of ISIS’ “Beatles” murder cell dread being jailed in a high-security US prison.

Alexanda Kotey, 36, and El-Shafee el-Sheikh, 32, known as George and Ringo because of their English accents, are reportedly being held by US special forces in Iraq after their capture by the Syrian Democratic Forces two years ago.

The pair, who were believed to be part of a terror cell initially comprised of four men, are allegedly responsible for the high-profile executions of 27 hostages – including American aid workers and journalists.

Last week, Washington assured the UK that it would not seek the death penalty for the jihadis, in an effort to prosecute them in US courts.

Kotey told the Daily Mirror that he and el-Sheikh hoped they would be sent back to the UK to spend “some time in prison”.

He said last year: “I would not want to spend time in a prison in the US. That would not be good.

"That would be the worst thing that could happen.”

If convicted, the pair – who have already been stripped of their British citizenship – could spend the rest of their lives in the Florence Supermax, Colorado, the Mirror reports.

Prisoners are typically confined for around 23 hours a day to solitary cells, each with a narrow window about 42 inches (107 cm) high and angled upward so only the sky is visible.

They cannot move around without being escorted and headcounts are done at least six times a day.

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One report, published in The Nation last June, alleged that inmates had been force fed.

Investigative journalist Aviva Stahl said its prisoners are subjected to "more extreme conditions of isolation and sensory deprivation than any other facility in the country”.

Kotey was captured by Syrian Democratic forces in 2018, but regards time spent on a CIA “kill or capture” list as part of his time in custody.

He added: “I have already served four years, maybe five. I was told I was in a kill or capture list after my name and picture was put out in the media. It has not been easy for me.

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“Shafee was also asked about it too –he said he would not like to spend time in an American prison. No, that would not be good.”

A former British military intelligence officer told the Mirror: “Justice in the States for Kotey and el-Sheikh will not be about rehabilitation, but serious punishment and revenge.

"Theirs will be a life of aching drudgery and boredom. The supermax strips away any comfort and distraction. It will be their worst nightmare.

“In many ways being locked up for the rest of your life in a featureless and excruciatingly monotonous place is for some people a fate worse than the death penalty.

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“They will be staring at white walls penning them in, with very few personal belongings, access to the outside world and absolutely no choice about their movements from one minute to the next.”

Prisoners get one call to a relative every month lasting just 15 minutes.

At least 70% of them suffer from mental health issues and more than 100 of the most violent inmates are kept in a darkened, secure section called the “z unit”.

It houses an array of notorious criminals, including Islamist terrorists and former Sinaloa Cartel leader El Chapo.

Shoe bomber Richard Reid, 47, from London, is serving three life sentences with no parole for trying to blow up a plane in 2001.

Radical preacher Abu Hamza, 62, once based in London, is also serving life with no parole for terrorism offences – including developing a jihadist training camp in Oregon and attacks in Yemen.

  • ISIS
  • Terror

Source: Read Full Article

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