DUBAI: A member of a Deash cell known as “The Beatles” faces dying alone in an American prison, described by an ex-warden as a “place not designed for humanity,” after his appeal for a sanity assessment was rejected.
El Shafee Elsheikh, 34, was given eight life sentences in August for hostage-taking, conspiracy to murder US citizens, and supporting a terrorist organization. On Saturday, the Daily Mail reported that Elsheikh had claimed he suffered from poor mental health to avoid being imprisoned in ADX Florence in Colorado.
Elsheikh was able to avoid time in the “Alcatraz of the Rockies,” the United States’ most secure maximum security prison, after filing his claim.
The 34-year-old, who was one of four terrorists in a Daesh cell in Iraq and Syria dubbed “The Beatles” by their captors due to their British accents, was transferred to ADX Florence at the beginning of March following a mental evaluation, as reported by the Mirror.
His current cell size is 7 feet by 12 feet, and he is serving eight life sentences for various offenses.
“Elsheikh will rot in the closest thing America has to hell on Earth,” a US prison official, who wished to remain nameless, was quoted as saying.
In addition to Elsheikh and Aine Davis, “The Beatles” also included Alexanda Kotey and Mohammed Emwazi. In 2015, a drone strike in Syria took the life of the latter, also known by his nom de guerre, Jihadi John.
U.S. officials were quoted in the media as saying that “The Beatles,” whose members were all raised in west London, beheaded 27 hostages. It has been reported by other hostages that the Daesh cell used electric shocks and simulated executions as methods of torture.
Elsheikh was found guilty in April 2022 and sentenced to eight consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole in August of that year for his “brutal” and “horrific” crimes.
Elsheikh, a native of Sudan, was found guilty of plotting the murders of four Americans held hostage in Syria: journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller.
Richard Reid, 49, who is known as the “shoe bomber,” and Abu Hamza, 64, both have life sentences and are currently being housed in ADX Florence.
The 34-year-old was captured alongside Kotey by US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in 2018 as they attempted to flee to Turkey.
Kotey was arrested in April 2022 in the United States after pleading guilty in 2021.
While this was happening, Davis was being held in a Turkish prison until September of 2022, when he was returned to the UK.
The day of Elsheikh’s sentencing marked the eighth anniversary of the day that Daesh posted a video to YouTube depicting the brutal beheading of Foley.
During his sentencing, Elsheikh was described as “defiantly remorseless and unrepentant” by the attorney who represented the families of the victims.
It was possible that Elsheikh, whose British citizenship was revoked in 2018, would be sentenced to death if found guilty, but in exchange for British cooperation, American prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty.
“This is one of the most significant international terrorism cases ever brought to trial,” Commander Richard Smith, head of counterterrorism for London’s Metropolitan Police Service, told the Daily Mail.
These terrorist attacks were among the most heinous in history, and their cold-blooded cruelty was shocking.
Prosecutors claim that Elsheikh is the most infamous and senior member of Daesh ever to be convicted in a US court.