STORY: An ISIS militant who helped propel the group to global notoriety for the brutal killings of hostages was sentenced to life in in prison by a federal court on Friday.
Thirty-three-year-old El Shafee Elsheikh was found guilty by a jury earlier this year of conspiring to kill four American hostages: James Foley, Steven Sotloff - both journalists, Peter Kassig - an aid worker, and Kayla Mueller who was raped repeatedly by the group’s leader at the time, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, before her death in Syria, according to U.S. officials.
Diane Foley, the mother of James Foley, spoke to reporters after the sentencing:
“Let this sentencing make clear to all who dare to kidnap, torture or kill any American citizen abroad that U.S. justice will find you wherever you are, and that our government will hold you accountable for your crimes against our citizens."
Elsheikh, who was born in Sudan and raised in London, was part of an Islamic State cell, nicknamed "The Beatles" for their British accents, that had beheaded American hostages in Iraq and Syria.
The deaths of Foley, Sotloff and Kassig were confirmed in 2014; Mueller's death was confirmed in early 2015.
The charges against Elsheikh, whose British citizenship was withdrawn in 2018, carried a potential death sentence.
But U.S. prosecutors had previously advised British officials that they would not seek the death penalty.