Strong evidence of bestial crimes


IT is just one of the many insanities of the terrorists of Daesh (the self-proclaimed IS) that they made video recordings of their horrific crimes and published them on the Internet. They hailed these monstrous images as brilliant and compelling propaganda, which proved to the world that they were ruthless and unstoppable.

Well, “ruthless” these thugs definitely have been, but “unstoppable”, they have not. Their spurious claim to some sort of statehood has been destroyed. The remnants of their killing bands now cower in their final lairs in Syria and Iraq, sneaking out to murder and maim whenever they can. They are once again terrorists in the classic mold, reliant on the shelter of those who approve their blasphemous claptrap or those they can intimidate into helping them. As such, they will be harder to hunt down but their days are now assuredly numbered.

Hundreds of Daesh toughs are already in captivity. The fighters of the Kurdish YPG made a significant haul of the terrorists as they overran their positions in northern Iraq. Shia militias alongside the Iraqi army picked up hundreds more as they screened the populations in towns and cities liberated from the Daesh yoke. One of the few foreign journalists who watched this process noted that the interrogators were extremely cautious and many people who were simply suspected of being Daesh sympathizers were hurried away into detention camps.

Among the killers captured by the YPG this January were two Britons. El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey, both from London, are believed to have been part of the four “Beatles”, so-called because they were all British recruits who had traveled across Turkey to join the ranks of the terrorists at a time when the bigots at least, thought themselves unstoppable.

Their leader, Mohammed Emwazi, nicknamed "Jihadi John" was among the first stars in the gruesome execution videos. He was filmed sawing off the head a British taxi driver who been captured in the ambush of a charity aid convoy which he had helped drive from the UK. Emwazi was later killed in a US drone strike. The fourth “Beatle”, Aine Davis was arrested as he tried to flee through Turkey and jailed after a trial found he had been a senior terrorist leader.

Washington wants Elsheikh and Kotey to be extradited to the US to stand trial for the murder of US journalist James Foley. There, they could face the death penalty. In an unusual move, the British government has stripped both men of their UK citizenship. It has also said it would not object to the pair being tried in the United States, even though Britain, like the rest of the EU, no longer uses capital punishment.

Some human rights activists are backing the claims of Elsheikh and Kotey that they cannot be deprived on their British passports and cannot be deported to the US to stand trial. Though it is important to remember these men are still only suspects, the American authorities clearly have strong grounds for believing they are guilty of barbarous killings.

That evidence includes all the details of height, voice, eyes and other features that were visible in the videos of the masked men committing these crimes. Elsheikh and Kotey may yet live, though perhaps for not very long, to regret Daesh’s gloating propaganda technique of filming its atrocities.