WASHINGTON – A militant fighter for the Islamic Condition of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a foreign terrorist corporation, pleaded guilty currently to all expenses that were pending versus him in the United States relating to his participation in a brutal hostage-taking scheme that resulted in the fatalities of four American citizens, as very well as the deaths of British and Japanese nationals, in Syria.
According to court information, from in or all over November 2012 by on or about Feb. 7, 2015, previous British citizen Alexanda Amon Kotey, 37, served as an ISIS fighter and participated in the captivity of American and European hostages in Syria. Kotey exclusively participated in the seizure, detention and hostage negotiations for 4 American citizens – James Wright Foley, Kayla Jean Mueller, Steven Joel Sotloff and Peter Edward Kassig – each individual of whom died as hostages in ISIS custody. In addition, Kotey participated in hostage operations involving British, Italian, Danish and German nationals, amid other people.
“This responsible plea assures that Kotey will commit the rest of his lifetime in prison for the horrific crimes he has fully commited,” mentioned Performing Assistant Attorney Basic Mark J. Lesko for the Justice Department’s Nationwide Safety Division. “Although there stays a lot work to be finished in this scenario, we hope today’s gatherings present some evaluate of justice for Kotey’s victims and their people as they proceed to grieve the decline of their loved types. I want to thank all of the brokers, analysts and prosecutors who labored tirelessly on this investigation and prosecution – their endeavours are proof that the National Protection Division and our associates will not relaxation in our commitment to keep accountable terrorists who goal and attack U.S. citizens anyplace in the earth.”
“This scenario has normally been focused on the victims and their people,” mentioned Acting U.S. Legal professional Raj Parekh for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Their resilience, braveness, and perseverance have ensured that terror will never have the final term. The justice, fairness, and humanity that this defendant been given in the United States stand in stark distinction to the cruelty, inhumanity, and indiscriminate violence touted by the terrorist business he espoused. Right now, by means of the voices and life of the victims, Justice spoke, and it is those words that will resonate by historical past.”
“Years back, Alexanda Kotey’s actions performed out on the globe stage, and all those brutal crimes against Americans James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller, as very well as two British and two Japanese hostages are permanently burned into the eyes of the American individuals,” explained Assistant Director Steven M. D’Antuono of the FBI’s Washington Industry Place of work. “This responsible plea will not reduce the struggling of these afflicted by his cruelty, but I hope it reminds the globe of the FBI’s unwavering perseverance to acquiring and prosecuting all individuals who inflict hurt on U.S. citizens, no subject their location.”
“Today we get a moment to bear in mind all of the victims who perished at the arms of the Islamic Point out of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in Syria, and our ideas are specifically with the Sotloff, Kassig, Foley and Mueller families,” explained Executive Assistant Director Jill Sanborn of the FBI’s Nationwide Security Branch. “Alexanda Kotey’s admission of guilt does not reduce the pain suffered by these family members and some others whose beloved kinds ended up taken from them by this heinous terror group, but we hope that this announcement will carry them nearer to the justice that they should have. I am proud of the unwavering commitment and tireless initiatives of the guys and girls of the FBI and all of our associates – both equally domestic and intercontinental – to see justice served for these functions of terrorism.”
In accordance to courtroom records, Kotey and two other ISIS users supervised the terrorist organization’s jails and detention facilities at which the hostages ended up held and were liable for transferring hostages concerning detention services. Kotey and his co-conspirators engaged in a extended pattern of physical and psychological violence from hostages that was intended as an hard work to regulate the hostages. These actions had been also intended to compel the victims’ loved ones associates and the U.S. government to fork out huge monetary ransoms for their release, in addition to persuasive the U.S. government to concur to other phrases and disorders for the victims’ return.
In addition to bodily and psychologically abusing the hostages, Kotey and his co-conspirators participated in forcibly exposing the hostages to the murder of other hostages held by ISIS, which include a Russian hostage who was killed in or about February 2014 and a Syrian prisoner who was executed on or about April 25, 2014. Right after a group of European hostages were being pressured to witness the execution of the Syrian prisoner, Kotey and his co-conspirators returned the hostages to the prison exactly where they were being getting held with American and British hostages.
From August 2014 by Oct 2014, ISIS introduced films depicting the beheadings of James Foley, Steven Sotloff and British citizens David Haines and Alan Henning. In November 2014, ISIS produced a movie depicting the decapitated head of Peter Kassig. In January 2015, ISIS launched videos depicting the decapitated body of Japanese citizen Haruna Yukawa and the beheading of Japanese citizen Kenji Goto. On or about Feb. 7, 2015, Kayla Mueller’s household received an e mail from ISIS fighters confirming Mueller’s death in Syria.
Kotey was section of a group of four ISIS users who spoke with British accents and were referred to by the hostages as the “Beatles.” Kotey and alleged co-conspirator El Shafee Elsheikh, 33, whose case continues to be pending in the U.S. District Court for the Japanese District of Virginia, ended up captured collectively in January 2018 by the Syrian Democratic Forces as they tried to escape Syria for Turkey. Mohamed Emwazi, who performed the videotaped beheadings referenced above, was killed in November 2015 in a U.S. military airstrike in Syria.
Kotey pleaded responsible to all of the offenses billed in the 8-count indictment, consisting of just one count of conspiracy to dedicate hostage using resulting in demise four counts of hostage using ensuing in the fatalities of the four Us citizens (James Wright Foley, Kayla Jean Mueller, Steven Joel Sotloff and Peter Edward Kassig) 1 rely of conspiracy to murder U.S. citizens outside the house of the United States just one count of conspiracy to supply materials aid or resources to terrorists resulting in the deaths of U.S., British and Japanese nationals and one particular rely of conspiracy to deliver material help or sources to a designated international terrorist group ensuing in the fatalities of U.S., British and Japanese nationals.
Kotey faces a obligatory sentence of lifetime in jail and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 4, 2022 by Senior U.S. District Decide T. S. Ellis, III.
The plea agreement entered in the case makes certain that the defendant will serve the relaxation of his life in jail. Per the settlement, following 15 decades of the defendant’s imprisonment in the United States, if the defendant has complied with all conditions of the plea agreement and requests a transfer to the United Kingdom, the U.S. Attorney’s Workplace for the Eastern District of Virginia has agreed to take all sensible actions beneath the law to guidance the transfer of Kotey to the United Kingdom. As component of the plea agreement, Kotey has agreed that, prior to any these transfer, he would plead responsible in a U.K. prosecution, accept accountability for related violations of U.K. legislation, and facial area a sentence in the U.K. of existence in prison without parole – a sentence which he has agreed would be a honest and right punishment. If the genuine sentence he serves in the U.K. is much less than lifetime for any purpose, Kotey has agreed to serve the remainder of his U.S.-imposed lifetime sentence in the U.K., if that is lawfully readily available, or to be transferred back again to the United States to provide the remainder of his sentence.
Pursuant to the plea agreement, the U.S. Attorney’s Workplace for the Jap District of Virginia and Kotey realize and agree that – even if all of the vital preconditions are fulfilled – the acceptance of any this kind of requested transfer would be subject matter to the discretion of the United Kingdom. As indicated in the plea agreement, need to the U.K. authorities deny any these types of requested transfer, Kotey will provide his mandatory life sentence in the United States.
The Division of Justice expresses its profound appreciation to our several overseas companions for their focused dedication to guide the United States in seeking justice for all the victims of these crimes.
This situation is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Subject Business.
Assistant U.S. Legal professional Dennis M. Fitzpatrick, Performing U.S. Lawyer Raj Parekh, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys John T. Gibbs and Aidan Taft Grano-Mickelson, all of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Japanese District of Virginia, and Trial Lawyer Alicia H. Cook dinner of the National Protection Division‘s Counterterrorism Portion are prosecuting the circumstance.
The Justice Department’s Business office of Global Affairs presented a must have assistance.