TWO members of the infamous ISIS “Beatles” are set to finally face charges for allegedly being part of a terror cell that beheaded Western hostages.
El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey – known as “George” and “Ringo” – have been facing extradition to the US after they were captured in Syria.
The US Justic Department is preparing to announce charges against the two Brits, both from London.
They are expected to make their first court appearance this afternoon in Alexandria, Virginia, after being flown to the US, an official told the Associated Press.
Both now face facing criminal charges in federal US court – with them facing life behind bars in the US’s hellhole “supermax” prison.
The expected announcement is a milestone in a years-long effort by US authorities to bring justice to members of the barbaric terrorist group known for beheadings and torture.
Elsheikh and Kotey are two of four men dubbed the Beatles by the hostages they held captive because of their British accents.
Along with duo, there was also Mohammed Emwazi, “John”, and the final member of the “band” is believed to have been Aine Davis, “Paul”.
“John” was killed in an airstrike by the US in November 2015, while “Paul” was jailed in Turkey in May 2017.
They did so much horror to so many people
Kayla Mueller’s mum Marsha
US State Department officials say Kotey “likely engaged in the group’s executions and exceptionally cruel torture methods, including electronic shock and waterboarding” in his role as a jail guard.
And similar allegations are made against Elsheikh who “was said to have earned a reputation for waterboarding, mock executions, and crucifixions”.
Kotey is believed to have lived in West London until 2009 when he travelled to Gaza in an aid convoy – with his family “deeply distressed” by his turn to terror.
Elsheikh also grew up in West London but traveled to Syria in 2012, previously working as a mechanic and being described as a QPR fan.
After their arrest both claimed they joined the terrorist group for “religious reasons” but were stripped of their right to be a UK citizen.
It is believed the so-called “Beatles” are behind 27 killings, including the beheadings of British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning along with American journalist James Foley.
The two have been held since October 2019 in American military custody, and the Justice Department has long wanted to put them on trial.
They were captured in Syria in 2018 by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
Attorney General William Barr broke a diplomatic standoff earlier this year when he promised the men would not face the death penalty.
That prompted British authorities to share evidence against the men that prosecutors deemed crucial for obtaining convictions.
In interviews while in detention, the two men admitted that they helped collect family email addresses from US aid worker Kayla Mueller.
Horror ransom demands included threats they would send her mum and dad a picture of her corpse unless they got £4.5million.
Kayla was killed in 2015 after 18 months in ISIS captivity.
She is claimed to have been raped by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and kept as a slave by jihadi warlord Abu Sayyaf.
Kotey said: “She was in a room by herself that no one would go in.”
Elsheikh added: “I took an email from her myself. She was in a large room, it was dark, and she was alone, and…she was very scared.”
Kayla’s family have been one of the strongest voices calling for them to face the inside of a US courtroom.
Her mum Marsha said: “They did so much horror to so many people. They need to be brought here. They need to be prosecuted.”
‘FATE WORSE THAN DEATH’
ISIS fanatic Alexanda Kotey revealed both he and El Shafee Elsheikh are living in fear as they face potentially being shipped to ADX Florence.
The prison is known as known as the “Alcatraz of the Rockies”
The terrorists said being locked up in a US jail would be the “worst thing that could happen”.
ADX Florence has a reputation as one of the US’s toughest jails as prisoners are locked up alone for 23 hours a day in 12ft by 7ft cells without windows.
It houses some of the world’s most infamous criminals and terrorists, including drug baron El Chapo, hate preacher Abu Hamza, and shoe bomber Richard Reid.
No one has ever escaped the jail since it was built in the late 1980s, and it is one of the highest security complexes in the world.
And if the terrorists do not behave they could face being banished to H-unit, an even more secure and darkened part of the prison.
Located outside an old mining town about two hours south of Denver, ADX Florence houses the nation’s most violent offenders.
Many of its 400 inmates are held alone for 23 hours a day in 7-by-12-foot cells with fixed furnishings made of reinforced concrete.
Most are given a TV, but their only actual view of the outside world is a 4-inch window.
Human interaction is virtually non-existent.
Meals are eaten in the solitude of their own cells, within feet of their toilets.
Outside razor-wire fences, gun towers, armed patrols and attack dogs make escape attempts futile.
Both men have also admitted to beating hostages – including Foley – and to attempts to blackmail devastated families to extract ransoms.
Elsheikh said: “If the guard would ask, ‘Is the food enough?’ some of the other prisoners were very timid.
“It was always him who would say, ‘It’s not enough’.”
This, he said, would lead to Foley being hit
“I’ve hit him before. I’ve hit most of the prisoners before,” admits Elsheikh.
Foley’s death was horrifically filmed and uploaded to YouTube with the title “A Message to America”.
Their arrival in the US to face charges sets the stage for arguably the most sensational terrorism prosecution since the 2014.
It will be the highest profile case since the prosecution against the suspected ringleader of a deadly attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
US officials declared Elsheikh and Kotey as specially designated global terrorists in 2017.
They accused them of holding captive and beheading approximately two dozen hostages, including American journalists Foley and Steven Sotloff, and aid worker Peter Kassig.
The terrorists face being banged up with some of the world’s most dangerous criminals if they land in ADX Florence.
Terrorist Ted Kaczynski, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and Oklahoma City bombing accomplice Terry Nichols are among those who call it home.
But El Chapo, the most prolific narco in history, is one of the most notorious inmates who is serving to life plus 30 years in the “supermax” prison.
Joaquín Guzmán, 62, was found guilty of 10 charges, including drug trafficking and money laundering, by a federal court in New York in February.
Infamous inmates of ADX Florence
TERRORISTS , gangsters, drug barons and spies are among the infamous inmates of ADX Florence.
Abu Hamza – Notorious hate preacher who masterminded kidnappings and set up a terrorist training camp in the US.
El Chapo – One of the world’s most infamous drug lords, former boss of Mexico’s powerful and dangerous Sinaloa Cartel.
Richard Reid – “The Shoe Bomber” is serving three life sentences for attempting to blow up a plane from Paris to Miami.
Zacarias Moussaoui – Serving six life sentences for his role in the September 11 attacks. Helped the terrorists obtain money and flight lessons.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – Killed three people when he planted a pressure cooker bomb at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Theodore Kaczynski – The Unabomber carried out 16 bombings from 1978 to 1995, killing three people. Serving eight life sentences.
Robert Hanssen – Passed classified information to the Soviet Union, betraying dozens of US agents which ended in some of their executions.
James Marcello – Mob boss from Chicago linked to at least 18 murders, racketeering, illegal gambling, loan sharking, bribery and extortion.
Dwight York – Leader of the Nuwaubian Nation black supremacist cult who was convicted for child molestation.
Mahmud Abouhalima – Handed a 240-year sentence for his role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center