Two surviving members of the Isis cell known as “The Beatles” have accused the government of violating international law by stripping them of British citizenship.
In an interview from the prison where they are being held by UK allies the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), they denied being members of the group headed by the executioner “Jihadi John”.
El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey told the Associated Press they were the victims of “propaganda” and would not receive a fair trial.
Asked about the beheadings of hostages including the American journalist James Foley and British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, Kotey claimed many fellow Isis fighters “would have disagreed” with the killings “in the grounds that there is probably more benefit in them being political prisoners”.
“As for my position, I didn’t see any benefit,” he added, blaming governments that refused to pay huge ransoms for their deaths. “It was something that was regrettable.”