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British ISIS members call hostage beheadings 'regrettable,' a 'mistake'

 British ISIS members call hostage beheadings 'regrettable,' a 'mistake'
© Getty Images

A pair of captured British members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) voiced regret over the group's beheadings of hostages including Americans, with one saying he "didn't see any benefit" to the murders.

Speaking to The Associated Press from a detention facility in northern Syria, Alexanda Amon Kotey said that many ISIS militants "would have disagreed" with the killings, because "there is probably more benefit in them being political prisoners."

"I didn’t see any benefit," Kotey said. "It was something that was regrettable."

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El Shafee Elsheikh, another British ISIS member, told the AP that the murders were a "mistake" and that once the militants had threatened to kill their hostages, they had to go through with it in order to maintain their credibility.

Kotey and Elsheikh are believed to have belonged to a cell of ISIS militants known as "The Beatles," because of their English accents. 

The cell gained infamy because of its brutal treatment of hostages and for carrying out the beheadings of British, Japanese and American journalists, including James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

The two ISIS members were captured in January in eastern Syria by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, according to the AP. Both spoke about their membership in ISIS, but declined to say what their exact roles were.

During the interview, Kotey also put blame on Western governments for not negotiating with militants for the release of hostages, pointing to the fact that some other hostages had been released in exchange for ransom payments.