Alexanda Kotey image: ITV News obtains exclusive first photo of IS 'Beatle' in detention

ITV News has exclusively obtained the first image of Alexanda Kotey, the suspected member of Jihadi John's British execution gang, in detention.

The bearded Kotey is seen in a tatty grey t-shirt after being captured in Syria in January, trying to smuggle himself into Turkey -writes

Sources have told ITV News he was attempting to eventually get back to Europe when he was held on January 24 alongside his friend El Shafee Elsheikh .

Redur Khalil, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, confirmed to ITV News the detained man pictured was Kotey.

He said he was a "member of the daesh terrorist group" who was arrested in January by "the anti-terrorist forces of the Syrian SDF in the Raqqa countryside while he was trying to flee to Turkey".

Redur Khalil told ITV News that Alexanda Kotey was in charge of foreign prisoners and trained foreign fighters.Credit: ITV News

He detailed how Kotey, from west London, had attempted to get to Afghanistan more than a decade ago.

"He was selling drugs in London, he was arrested many times there," he said. "In 2005 with the help of a British man of Afghan origin he tried to go to Afghanistan. He went first to Barcelona. From Barcelona he flew to Turkey but the authorities sent him back because he had a jihadi record.

"In 2012 he went back to Turkey through Greece and entered Turkey even though the Turkish intelligence had his jihadi record. He gained two months' residence in Turkey and then he was allowed to go to Syria and he entered Syrian soil through the border crossing at Bab al Hawa."

Once he arrived he was allegedly put to work by a jihadist group.

"He became the emir in charge of foreign prisoners," he said. "While he was in charge of that prison he met the foreign prisoners, the US journalist James Foley and the British journalist John Cantlie."

Alexanda Kotey, left, and El Shafee Elsheikh were arrested last month.

According to Mr Khalil, Kotey soon joined so-called Islamic State.

"He moved to Raqqa, where he was also in charge of foreign prisoners until 2014. He then became the emir of the foreign fighters training camp.

"(Kotey later) became the translator of the media section in ISIS until the end when he planned to flee to Turkey after the SDF surrounded the ISIS areas. Now he is in the custody of the SDF and under interrogation."

Kotey and Elsheikh are said to be one half of the infamous four-man extremist group dubbed "The Beatles" because of their English accents.

The other members of the group were ringleader Mohammed Emwazi - popularly known as "Jihadi John" - and Aine Davis.

Emwazi, who appeared in horrific videos showing the beheading of British and American hostages, was killed in a British drone strike in 2015.

Davis is in custody in Turkey where he was convicted on terrorism charges.

Mohammed Emwazi became better known as 'Jihadi John'.

All four members of the group had lived and grown up in west London.

Former child refugee Elsheikh was a mechanic from White City, and Kotey was from Paddington.

El Shafee's brother Mahmoud died fighting for so-called Islamic State in Iraq in 2015 after following his brother to the region.

El Shafee Elsheikh's parents Rashid and MahaCredit: ITV News

On Friday, his parents refused to comment on their son's detention.

"This is not the right time for us," El Shafee's father Rashid said. "This is a mum who lost two. Her son now is in the hands of people, we don’t know what is going on."

Bethany Haines, whose father David Haines was beheaded by Emwazi in 2014, welcomed reports of the capture of Kotey and Elsheikh.

"No punishment is enough for these barbarians and in my opinion they should be sentenced to a slow, painful death," Ms Haines said.

Emwazi is also believed to have killed another British captive, Alan Henning, and the American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, while the US government has attributed 27 beheadings to the group.

Foley's mother Diane told ITV News that Kotey and Elsheikh's detention was "a positive development".

“My hope is they will be brought to trial and face the consequences of their horrific actions," she said.

"I feel it's very important they are detained and held because they have caused so much pain to so many good people in the world.

"We cannot bring Jim back but we can find justice and hopefully stop this horror that they have inflicted on the world."

Emwazi is believed to have killed US journalist James Foley.Credit: AP

Last year the US State Department named Kotey a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, claiming that he "likely engaged in the group's executions and exceptionally cruel torture methods, including electronic shock and waterboarding".

The duo could be prosecuted in Syria but it is believed to be more likely they will go the United States and possibly the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

Read more news of London on our site.
IS'Beatle' London
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

England female basketball stars were joined by an NBA great to inspire young women to take up their sport. Siobhan Prior and Georgia Jones were joined by three-time NBA champion Bruce Bowen at the Jr. NBA Girls Clinic, hosted at CitySport in Barbican on Monday, before a game at the O2 on Thursday between the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks. Prior and Jones, who were in the silver medal-winning England Women’s team at the Gold Coast Commonwealth...
Grieving parents heard that new medical practices could have saved their baby, who died in their arms at just four days old from preventable brain damage caused during labour. Sebastian Clark was born at Kingston Hospital on March 8 2017,  with devastating injuries from which he would never recover. Failure by midwives to escalate the case and subsequent failure by doctors to expedite the pregnancy, despite knowing that Sebastian’s mother Alison had develo...
A man has been tasered and arrested by police at a train station in south London. The 59-year old is currently being questioned on suspicion of attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon after being detained at Tulse Hill. British Transport Police officers were called to the station just after 6:30pm to reports of someone carrying a knife. Nobody was injured and the arrest is not believed to be terror related. Witnesses are being urged to conta...
A mother has died and her eight-month-old boy is in hospital after being hit by a car as they crossed a road. The woman, believed to be in her 20s, was pushing a pram when they were hit in Anerley, south London, last night. The boy is in a serious condition after suffering from life-threatening injuries. The driver of the car that is believed to have hit them was also taken to hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and is helping police with their inqu...
News Company
Breaking up with your partner is always a disastrous event. However, if your partner decides to break up with you, it isn’t necessarily the end. Statistically 66% of exes want to get back together again. 50% of separated couples reunite. Here we will show you tips on how to fix a broken relationship. If you want to find your love you must realize that it is all about respect and understanding your beloved one.  Accepting The Situation  You have to calm dow...
A Londoner who used to contemplate suicide on his morning commute is now running the length of every Tube line to raise money for a mental health charity. Daniel Sherry, 29, quit his sports PR job in April 2018 and set about completing “30 challenges before 30”, including running his first marathon and cycling from London to Paris. His latest exploit is seeing him traverse all 11 lines of the capital’s 249 mile-long underground network above ground, on foo...
The family of London teenager Jayden Moodie say he had no links to gangs and was "murdered in cold blood". Jayden Moodie, 14, was stabbed to death by attackers who knocked him off a moped in Leyton on Tuesday in what police believe was a targeted attack. The teenager had moved from Nottingham to London with his mother six months ago for a "new start". No arrests have been made over Jayden's death, the Met Police has said. Speaking near to the scene where J...
A clubber who ploughed his car onto a packed dance floor in a drink and drug-fuelled rage after being thrown out by bouncers has been jailed for 28 years. Mohammed Abdul said he felt “humiliated” after being ejected from Blake’s nightclub in Gravesend, Kent, on March 17 last year. He drank at least 15 glasses of vodka, tequila shots and more than “five to 10 spliffs” of cannabis before he got behind the wheel of his Suzuki Vitara. Bouncers had kicked him o...
More than 100,000 spectators will descend on central London to watch the Mayor’s firework display tonight as the capital gears up for New Year’s Eve. Barriers have been put in place lining the streets ahead of the display, which has sold out. Fences have also been erected around fountains at Trafalgar Square ahead of Tuesday’s New Year’s Day parade. Tickets are no longer available but the display is visible from Greenwich Park, Hampstead Heath, Vauxhall Br...