March 31, 2023
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Islamic State group member sentenced to life in US prison for beheading

A member of the Islamic State group convicted in April of his role in a kidnapping plot that led to the beheading of American journalists and aid workers was sentenced to life in prison on Friday by a US federal court.

Judge TS Ellis handed down the sentence against 33-year-old El Shafee Elsheikh during a court hearing in Alexandria, Virginia.

Four months ago, a jury found the former British citizen guilty of charges including aggravated hostage-taking and conspiracy to commit murder.

After a six-week trial and hours of deliberation in April, Jury Elshek was part of the Islamic State group, nicknamed “The Beatles” for its English accent, which beheaded American hostages in Iraq and Syria.

Elshek, who was born in Sudan and grew up in London, is accused of conspiring to kill four American hostages: James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kasik and Kayla Mueller.

Two journalists, Foley and Sotloff, and Kasik, an aid worker, were killed in a videotaped beheading. U.S. officials said Mueller was repeatedly raped by the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, before her death in Syria.

The deaths of Foley, Sotloff and Kassig were confirmed in 2014; Mueller’s death was confirmed in early 2015.