An Islamic State jihadist of Cypriot origins and member of the terrorist cell “The Beatles” is rumored to have changed his plea to guilty, thus foregoing trial in a US courtroom.
Alexanda Amon Kotey, who has a Cypriot mother and a Ghanaian father, is scheduled to appear for a plea change on Thursday according to US federal court records in Virginia.
It was understood that Kotey would change his previous not guilty plea to guilty, but no information was immediately available on any deal. Nothing in the court records indicated his partner, El Shafee Elsheikh, had reached a plea deal.
Kotey and Elsheikh were taken to the US last year to face charges in connection with the deaths of four American hostages as well as European and Japanese nationals who also were held captive. In an attempt to secure their extradition, the Justice Department had promised neither defendant would face a death sentence.
Kotey is one of four Islamic State members who were dubbed “the Beatles” by their captives because of their British accents. A third Beatle, Mohammed Emwazi also known as “jihadi John” was killed in a 2015 drone strike, while a fourth member is serving a prison sentence in Turkey.
The indictment says the two detainees had been radicalized in London and left for Syria in 2012 as “leading participants in a brutal hostage-taking scheme” that targeted American and European citizens, involving murders, mock executions, torture and other brutal acts.