Two former British citizens accused of being members of ISIS—and dubbed “the Beatles” due to their English accents heard on hostage videos—are facing trial in the U.S. after the U.K. dropped its normal demand that the death penalty would not be imposed. Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh are alleged to have been members of a four-man cell of ISIS executioners in Syria and Iraq responsible for killing a series of high-profile captives. British Home Secretary Sajid Javid has told U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions the U.K. will not demand a “death-penalty assurance” in the case of the two suspected terrorists, and has also indicated he believed there was more chance of a successful trial in the U.S. than there would be in U.K. courts. The “Beatles” were captured in January and there has been debate over whether they should be returned to the U.K. for trial or face justice elsewhere; they have previously been stripped of their British citizenship. In a letter obtained by The Telegraph, Javid wrote: “I am of the view that there are strong reasons for not requiring a death-penalty assurance in this specific case, so no such assurances will be sought.” A spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May said she was “made aware” of the decision but refused to say whether she approved of it.
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