British terror suspect Alexanda Amon Kotey, who was accused of beheading Western hostages for Islamic State, has pleaded guilty to eight charges in a US federal court.
Kotey, who grew up in London, appeared at the US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, where he pleaded guilty to:
• Four counts of hostage taking resulting in death
• Conspiracy to commit hostage taking resulting in death
• Conspiracy to murder United States citizens outside the United States
• Conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists – hostage taking and murder – resulting in death
• Conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organisation resulting in death
District Judge TS Ellis read out the charges and told Kotey he faced life in prison after the US government agreed not to seek the death penalty as part of a deal to secure his extradition.
Kotey said he understood.
The 37-year-old was one of four IS militants nicknamed “the Beatles” by their captives due to their accents.
The group was made up of ringleader Mohammed Emwazi (known as Jihadi John), Aine Davis, El Shafee Elsheikh and Kotey.
They were accused of murdering a number of Western and Japanese captives, including Britons Alan Henning and David Haines.
The slayings were widely broadcast in graphic detail.
Family members of the American victims – journalist James Foley, journalist Steven Sotloff and aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller – were at court but prosecutors said they did not wish to speak.