ISIS Beatle ‘Ringo’ faces dying alone in America’s toughest supermax prison likened to Alcatraz after mental health appeal turned down
- El Shafee Elsheikh, 34, was sentenced in August to life in prison
- He was moved to ADX Florence in Colorado earlier this month after a mental health assessment
ISIS ‘Beatle’ El Shafee Elsheikh faces dying alone in America’s toughest supermax jail, which has been labelled the ‘Alcatraz of the Rockies’.
Elsheikh, 34, was sentenced in August to life in prison, but the Brit, nicknamed Ringo, avoided being sent to ADX Florence in Colorado, claiming he suffered from poor mental health.
After being assessed, he was moved there earlier this month and is now in solitary confinement in a 7ft by 12ft cell, the Mirror reports.
A US prison insider told the publication: ‘Elsheikh will rot in the closest thing America has to hell on Earth. He is now exactly where he belongs.’
Elsheikh was one of four terrorists in an IS cell in Iraq and Syria, called the Beatles by their captors due to their British accents.
The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility, also known as the ADX or ‘Supermax’, in Florence, Colorado
The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility, also known as the ADX or ‘Supermax’, in Florence, Colorado.
They are Elsheikh, Aine Davis, Alexanda Kotey and Mohammed Emwazi. Emwazi, known as Jihadi John, was killed in Syria, in 2015.
US authorities say the group, whose members all grew up in west London, beheaded 27 hostages.
Hostages have also said the group tortured using waterboarding, electric shocks, and mock executions.
Elsheikh was convicted in April 2022 of hostage-taking, conspiracy to murder US citizens and supporting a terrorist organisation.
He was sentenced to eight life sentences, served concurrently, with no option for parole.
Two other Brits, shoe bomber Richard Reid, 49, and Abu Hamza, 64, are also serving life sentences in ADX Florence.
Robert Hood, a former prison warden, once said: ‘This place is not designed for humanity.’
Elsheikh, who was born in Sudan and raised in London, was convicted of conspiring to kill four American hostages: journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller.
All but Mueller were executed in videotaped beheadings that ISIS released online, sickening and horrifying the world.
Mueller was forced into slavery and raped multiple times by Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before she was killed.
El Shafee Elsheikh, 34, will not go to what’s known as a ‘concrete box’ at the ADX Florence prison in Colorado but a less restrictive prison on the same site known as USP Florence High
Alexanda Amon Kotey, left, and El Shafee Elsheikh were both prosecuted in the US. Kotey pleaded guilty and was also sentenced to life in prison
The deaths of Foley, Sotloff and Kassig were confirmed in 2014, while Mueller’s death was confirmed in early 2015.
Elsheikh’s warped crimes were branded ‘brutal, callous’ and ‘horrific’ in August as he was handed a life sentence for each of the eight counts he was convicted of in April last year, which are due to run concurrently.
Elsheikh was captured alongside Kotey in Syria in 2018 by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces while trying to escape to Turkey.
In 2021, Kotey pleaded guilty to eight counts relating to his involvement.
Kotey was jailed in the US in April 2022 for his part in the killings.
Davis was jailed in Turkey before being deported to the UK in September last year and Emwazi was killed in a drone strike.
Hostages freed by the ISIS Beatles gave vital evidence to identify their captors, police said.
The hostages told British police the men had bragged of being arrested at a London demonstration years earlier.
Officers identified the protest and recovered video footage of Elsheikh and Kotey being arrested.
Analysis of their phones showed the their links to the cell’s executioner, Emwazi.
The details were revealed by Scotland Yard ahead of Elsheikh’s sentencing in the United States In August last year.
Peter Kassig, 26, in Syria wrote a letter to his father shortly before he was beheaded in a videotaped murder. The letter was read out in court during the trial
James Foley is pictured while covering the civil war in Aleppo, Syria
Left: US freelance journalist Steven Sotloff. Right: Kayla Mueller is shown after speaking to a group in Prescott, Arizona. Both were killed in Syria by ISIS
Elsheikh’s sentencing hearing came on the eight-year anniversary of the day that ISIS uploaded a video to YouTube showing the gruesome beheading of Foley.
Raj Parekh, the attorney representing the families, said Elsheikh remained ‘defiantly remorseless and unrepentant’ during his sentencing.
He said the jihadist had made no effort to meet victims’ families.
At sentencing, the court heard statements from some of the victims’ loved ones, including those of Foley.
His mother, Diane Foley said: ‘This trial has revealed the horrific human rights crimes you committed while part of Isis. Your hatred overtook your humanity.’
The charges against Elsheikh, whose British citizenship was withdrawn in 2018, carried a potential death sentence, but US prosecutors had agreed not seek his execution in a deal with British officials to carry forward the case.
Elsheikh’s trial, and emotional testimony from the families of his victims, gripped observers on both sides of the Atlantic, and his sentencing was greeted with grim approval by US and UK officials.
El Shafee Elsheikh (center) during his arrest at an EDL counter-protest in central London on September 11, 2011
Elsheikh is pictured in a court room sketch on April 1,2022. ‘The Beatles’ – so-called because they had British accents — tortured and executed US and British hostages
‘This prosecution unmasked the vicious and sadistic ISIS Beatles,’ said First Assistant US Attorney Raj Parekh, noting that Elsheikh and the other Beatles always wore masks when they appeared in front of their hostages.
‘This is one of the most significant international terrorism cases ever brought to trial,’ said Commander Richard Smith, head of counterterrorism at London’s Metropolitan Police Service, in a statement to DailyMail.com.
‘These were some of the most barbaric terrorist acts ever seen, carried out with chilling callousness and brutality,’ he added.
‘I hope that those most affected may take some comfort in knowing that these extremely dangerous men have been brought to justice.’
Smith said: ‘This is a time to remember all of the victims – those innocent people who were senselessly killed, and also the surviving hostages who experienced unimaginable horrors at the hands of El Shafee Elsheikh and his co-defendant Alexanda Kotey.
‘They have shown remarkable fortitude and bravery in giving their accounts of what happened to investigators, and in court.’
Elsheikh is the most notorious and highest-ranking member of the Islamic State group to ever be convicted in a U.S. Court, prosecutors said.
The life sentence was a foregone conclusion after a jury convicted him of a slew of heinous crimes earlier in 2022.
Who are the ISIS Beatles? The group included ringleader Jihadi John who shared beheading videos
Mohammed Emwazi – Jihadi John
Mohammed Emwazi was one of the most prominent members of the so-called ISIS Beatles and was regularly seen carrying out executions in their horrific beheading videos.
He took part in the barbaric beheading of British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and US humanitarian worker Peter Kassig.
The terrorist, who was born in Kuwait and grew up in Queen’s Park, West London, was charged with 27 counts of murder and five counts of hostage taking in November 2014.
It is believed he was killed in a Hellfire missile drone strike in Syria in 2015.
Aine Lesley Davis – Paul
Born Aine Leslie Junior Davis in 1984 to Fay Rodriquez, ‘Paul’ is believed to have spent the early years of his childhood in Hammersmith, London, where his mother lived.
He was one of 13 children his father had by four different women.
The former tube driver, who has drug-dealing and firearms convictions to his name, converted to Islam while serving time in prison.
In 2014 his wife, Amal el-Wahabi, was convicted of funding terrorism after she persuaded a friend to try and smuggle £16,000 ($21,000) in cash in her underwear to him.
Davis was captured by Turkish security officials in 2015 and was later found guilty of being a senior member of a terrorist organization and was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.
In August 2022, Davis was deported from Turkey to the United Kingdom, and a day later – on August 11 – Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service authorised charges against Aine Davis for terrorism offences in 2014.
Alexanda Kotey – George
Kotey, 38, was born to a Ghanaian father and a Greek Cypriot mother and grew up in Shepherd’s Bush, West London.
Before his radicalisation, he is thought to have worked as a drug dealer before converting to Islam in his early 20s.
In 2012, he left for Syria where the US claims he was involved in beheadings and known for administering ‘exceptionally cruel torture methods’, including electronic shocks.
He was also accused of acting as an ISIS recruiter who convinced a number of other British extremists to join the terror group.
Kotey was captured in Syria while trying to escape to Turkey in 2018 and was held in a US military center in Iraq.
The British Government wanted him tried in the US, where officials believe there is a more realistic chance of prosecution than in the UK.
He was extradited last year and was charged with a number of terror offences. He pleaded guilty in September 2021 and was sentenced to life in prison, 15 years of which would be spent in the United States and then he would be transferred to the United Kingdom.
El Shafee Elsheikh – Ringo
El Shafee Elsheikh
Born in Sudan, Elsheikh, 33, grew up in West London and is the final member of the four British terrorists who fled to join ISIS.
He has been linked to the killings of a number of hostages after heading to Syria to join the extremist group.
He was captured along with Kotey when they tried to flee to Turkey in 2018 and has since been transported to the US where he now faces charges relating to terrorism and beheading Western hostages.
He initially pleaded not guilty to all charges of kidnap, conspiracy to murder and providing material to support terrorism, but he refused to give evidence. He was found guilty following a trial in April 2022.
He eventually pleaded guilty to all counts and was sentenced to life in prison.
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