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Islamic State ‘Beatle’ gets life term for US hostage deaths

He is essentially the most infamous and highest-ranking member of the Islamic State group to ever be convicted in a U.S. Court, prosecutors stated Friday at his sentencing listening to in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. The life sentence was a foregone conclusion after a jury convicted him of hostage taking leading to loss of life and different crimes earlier this 12 months.

The convictions revolved across the deaths of 4 American hostages: James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig, and Kayla Mueller. All however Mueller have been executed in videotaped beheadings circulated on-line. Mueller was pressured into slavery and raped a number of occasions by Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi earlier than she was killed.

They have been amongst 26 hostages taken captive between 2012 and 2015, when the Islamic State group managed massive swaths of Iraq and Syria.

The convictions carried a compulsory life sentence. The U.S. agreed to not pursue loss of life sentence as a part of a deal that ensured extradition of Elsheikh and his buddy, Alexanda Kotey, who has already been sentenced to life.

Parekh stated it was tough to convey the brutality of Elsheikh’s actions. “We lack the vocabulary of such pain,” he stated, paraphrasing Dante’s Inferno.

Still, victims of Elsheikh and the Beatles testified at Friday’s listening to and gave voice to what they skilled. Danish photographer Daniel Rye Ottosen, who was launched after paying a ransom, stated the worst moments have been occasions of silence throughout and after captivity when he was alone together with his ideas.

He stated when Elsheikh and the Beatles beat him up, it was virtually a reduction.

“Now I knew I could only concentrate on my pain, which is much easier than being alone with your thoughts,” he stated.

Ottosen was notably near Foley, and memorized a goodbye letter that Foley wrote to his household so he might dictate it to Foley’s mother and father when he was launched.

Foley’s mom, Diane Foley, stated holding Elsheikh accountable at trial sends a message of deterrence to different would-be hostage takers.

“Hatred truly overwhelmed your humanity,” she instructed Elsheikh on Friday, which was the eighth anniversary of James Foley’s beheading.

At trial, surviving hostages testified that they dreaded the Beatles’ look on the numerous prisons to which they have been always shuttled and relocated. Elsheikh and the opposite Beatles performed a key position within the hostage negotiations, getting hostages to electronic mail their households with calls for for funds.

They additionally routinely beat and tortured the hostages, forcing them to struggle one another to the purpose of passing out, threatening them with waterboarding and forcing them view pictures of slain hostages.

Elsheikh didn’t communicate throughout Friday’s listening to. His lawyer, Zachary Deubler, stated Elsheikh will attraction his conviction. Elsheikh’s attorneys had argued that his confessions ought to have been dominated inadmissible due to alleged mistreatment after he was captured by Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Forces in 2018.

At Friday’s listening to, Deubler confined his arguments to a request that Elsheikh not be despatched to the supermax jail facility in Florence, Colorado, the place he would face solitary confinement for the remainder of his life. Deubler stated a designation to Florence is nearly a certainty except the decide recommends in any other case.

Judge T.S. Ellis III declined to make any suggestion to the Bureau of Prisons.

“The behavior of this defendant and his co-defendant can only be described as horrific, barbaric, brutal, callous and, of course, criminal,” Ellis stated.

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