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Two British IS fighters known as ‘The Beatles’ in US custody

Two British IS fighters, known as "The Beatles" have been moved out of their Syrian prison and are now in US custody, according to US officials.

The two men, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Amon Kotey, were part of a group of four men from the UK who were in an IS terror cell known as The Beatles – named due to their recognisable English accents.

Elsheikh and Kotey were captured in 2018 trying to flee the region, and have been in a Syrian prison since then.

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April 2018: Full interview: 'Beatles' jihadists speak to Sky

US officials confirmed that the pair were moved out of Syria by military and law enforcement personnel to make sure that they could not escape as a result of the break down of security following the Turkish invasion in the country.

It is not known where US security forces have taken the pair, but a source says that they are in a "secure location".


The terror cell beheaded journalists from the UK, US and Japan, as well as aid workers and Syrian soldiers in videos released by IS to the world.

A member of the group, dubbed Jihadi John was killed in a US airstrike in 2015, with another, Aine Lesley Davis locked up in a Turkish prison.

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Turkey has begun an offensive against the Kurdish forces in Syria, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying the aim is "to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area."

He added that Turkish armed forces, together with the Syrian National Army, had launched what they called Operation Peace Spring against Kurdish fighters.

He added: "We will protect the territorial integrity of Syria and free the people of the region from the clutches of terror."

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Kurdish forces were responsible for guarding the thousands of IS prisoners in Syria, but that is now expected to be less of priority due to the Turkish operation in the country.

Officials in the US said that some Kurds had left prisons to join the fighting, but had not gone in large numbers.

However, fears still remained that prisoners could use the instability to escape jail and rejoin IS.

US President Donald Trump confirmed at the White House that some of the "most dangerous" prisoners had been moved, but stopped short of saying how many had been moved.

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