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Two members of ISIS 'Beatles' cell arrive in US, appear at court hearing

Two members of ISIS 'Beatles' cell arrive in US, appear at court hearing
© AFP/Pool

Two alleged members of the “Beatles” Islamic State cell indicted earlier Wednesday have arrived in the U.S. for trial, Justice Department officials said.

Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, who became known as “the Beatles” due to their British accent, have been transferred to federal custody after spending a year in military custody in Iraq, Reuters reported.

“Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee ElSheikh made their initial appearances in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia,” Zachary Terwilliger, the U.S. attorney for the eastern district, said in a statement. “They were appraised of the charges against them.”

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The “Beatles” cell is suspected in connection several high-profile killings, including those of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and American aid worker Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller. They also allegedly participated in the graphic videos of hostage beheadings that made the terror group infamous. The indictment specifically names Kotey and Elsheikh in Mueller’s murder.

“These charges are the product of many years of hard work in pursuit of justice for our citizens slain by ISIS. Although we cannot bring them back, we can and will seek justice for them, their families, and for all Americans,” Attorney General William BarrBill BarrTwo-thirds say the election was fair: poll The Hill's Morning Report - An inauguration like no other Barr told Trump that theories about stolen election were 'bulls---': report MORE said in a statement Wednesday.

The U.S. has reached a deal with the British government not to seek the death penalty against the men in exchange for help securing evidence against them. The two had their British citizenship withdrawn in connection with the allegations against them.

A detention hearing and arraignment in the case are scheduled for Friday, according to Reuters.