FBI Testing Possible Remains of ISIS Hostages

Captured 'Beatles' provided info on burial sites
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2018 2:37 AM CDT
Bodies of Americans Killed by ISIS May Have Been Found
Alexanda Amon Kotey, left, and El Shafee Elsheikh, who were allegedly among four British jihadis who made up a brutal Islamic State cell dubbed "The Beatles," speak during an interview with the AP at a security center in Kobani, Syria, on Friday.   (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

The families of American hostages murdered by ISIS in Syria may finally be able to lay their loved ones to rest. Officials and relatives tells ABC News that human remains in areas of Syria liberated from the group are being tested by the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Va., though it may be months before the remains can be identified. Officials say the remains were located with information from the interrogation of El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Amon Kotey, believed to be two of the four brutal captors nicknamed "The Beatles" because of their British accents. FBI agents with cadaver dogs, assisted by American troops, began excavating possible grave sites in Syria earlier this year after Kotey and Elsheikh were captured by Kurdish forces.

While the FBI and American military officials have been given access to the two captives, they remain in Kurdish custody, and it isn't clear where they'll end up. In a New York Times op-ed earlier this year, the families of four murdered American hostages—James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig, and Kayla Mueller—called for them to be given a "fair and public trial" either in the Hague or a US civilian court, not Guantanamo Bay. In an interview with the AP last week, Elsheikh and Kotey, who've reportedly been stripped of their British citizenship, refused to confirm whether they were part of the notorious cell that tortured and beheaded hostages. They described the US and Britain as "hypocrites" who wouldn't give them a fair trial, but they called the execution of the ISIS hostages "regrettable." (More ISIS stories.)

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