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Ex-Islamic Prison Guard Known As 'Beatle' Gets Life Term For Terror

A member of a brutal group of British Islamic State prison guards known as the Beatles was sentenced to life in prison for being part of a cell that murdered U.S. hostages in Syria. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis imposed the sentence on El Shafee Elsheikh in Alexandria, Va., reports the Wall Street Journal. Elsheikh, one of the most notorious Islamic State members to be tried in a U.S. court, was found guilty by a jury in April on eight counts, including hostage-taking resulting in death, conspiring to murder Americans outside the U.S. and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists

. Prosecutors said Elsheikh was one of several guards especially feared for their wanton cruelty, including vicious beatings that often left hostages with broken ribs. Humanitarian aid workers Kayla Mueller and Peter Kassig and journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff were among their victims in Syria in 2014 and 2015. The three men were beheaded in gruesome propaganda videos. Mueller was repeatedly raped by Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The group later claimed that Mueller was killed in an airstrike. None of their bodies was recovered. “This prosecution unmasked the barbaric and sadistic ISIS Beatles,” said prosecutor Raj Parekh. “For the first time, the victims had the opportunity to face an unmasked Elsheikh during trial and describe the atrocious crimes that he committed against them.”

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