Two ISIS fighters from Britain have admitted their involvement in holding an American charity worker captive prior to her death. Kayla Mueller, a devout Christian, was kidnapped after visiting a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Syria back in 2013. She was held captive, tortured and raped, before dying in 2015 in disputed circumstances.
The two fighters admitting to involvement in her captivity were part of a wider group of jihadis dubbed 'The Beatles' due to their British accents. Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh are both currently being held by US military forces in Iraq. The video of them discussing her captivity is reported to have been taken in Syria last year, shortly before the pair were transferred to the US base where they are currently being detained pending trial.
“[Mueller] was in a large room, it was dark, and she was alone, and... she was very scared,” Elsheikh explained. "She was in a room by herself that no one would go in.”
The fighter added that he "took an email from her," which is believed to mean that he stole an email address from her account which was later used by ISIS to demand ransoms. At one point, ISIS demanded a €5 million payment and threatened to send “a picture of Kayla’s dead body” to her family.
'The Beatles', which included the infamous 'Jihadi John' who was "evaporated" by a US drone strike in 2015, were thought to be responsible for several executions, including the beheadings of Americans James Foley, Steven Sotloff and Peter Kassig, and British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning.
Alongside officially designating him as a terrorist, the US Department of State revealed that Elsheikh "earned a reputation for waterboarding, mock executions, and crucifixions while serving as an ISIS jailer." Kotey and Elsheikh, who both grew up in West London, have been stripped of their British citizenship. While it is unclear exactly how and where they will face justice, the families of the murdered American hostages have urged the Trump administration to try the pair in a US civilian court.
"They did so much horror to so many people," Marsha Mueller, Kayla's mother, told NBC News. "They need to be brought here. They need to be prosecuted. The other thing that's really important to me about this is I need information about Kayla. We know so little about what happened to her."
She added: "I believe these two have more information than they're sharing with us. And I believe that we would find out more if they were brought here."