Outrage as location of Isis Beatle ‘Jihadi George’ disappears from US prison website
The daughter of an aid worker murdered by the “Isis Beatles” has voiced outrage after it emerged that one of the members of the notorious terror cell has vanished from the US prison system.
Alexanda Kotey – who earned the nickname “Jihadi George” – is listed as “not in BOP custody” on the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) website, with his release date “unknown”.
The 39-year-old from London is currently serving a life sentence for the abduction, torture and beheadings of Isis hostages in Syria including four American journalists and aid workers.
He pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges in 2021 and had been serving his sentence at the notorious, high-security Canaan prison in Pennsylvania.
But now his current location is no longer publicly available.
A BOP spokesperson confirmed to The Independent that Kotey is not currently in BOP custody but did not reveal where he is or why he has been moved.
However, the spokesperson said that there are “several reasons” why an inmate may be referred to as “not in BOP custody”.
“Inmates who were previously in BOP custody and who have not completed their sentence may be outside BOP custody for a period of time for court hearings, medical treatment or for other reasons,” he said.
“We do not provide specific information on the status of inmates who are not in the custody of the BOP for safety, security, or privacy reasons.”
British man David Haines was beheaded by the terror cell while working as an aid worker in Syria.
His daughter Bethany Haines has hit out at Kotey’s sudden relocation – and the lack of transparency from the BOP – saying that she wonders if he is “assisting authorities”.
She told Scotland’s Daily Record that it doesn’t “seem right” that the convicted terrorist could be having an “easy time” outside of jail instead of being locked up in his Pennsylvania prison cell.
“I don’t want to think that he has managed to negotiate his way into any kind of easy treatment on the basis of him assisting authorities or anything else,” she said.
She added: “I don’t think it is right that he can just disappear from the system and the families whose lives were devastated by his actions are left to wonder where he is.”
Ms Haines came face to face with her father’s killer last year, during a jailhouse meeting where he admitting to abducting her father and watching his torture and beheading.
The meeting was part of a plea deal to grant Kotey a transfer from US prison to UK custody after serving 15 years of his sentence.
Under the deal, he also agreed to “cooperation requirements” and was housed in Canaan instead of the notorious ADX Florence prison in Colorado – which is unfavourably known as the “Alcatraz of the Rockies”.
Ms Haines said that, in the jailhouse meeting, she realised that he could not be rehabilitated.
“When I met Kotey and looked into his eyes I realised there will be no rehabilitating a man like that. He refused to apologise for what he did to my dad,” she said.
She told The Mirror that Kotey also couldn’t seem to bring himself to apologise to for killing her father.
“He refused to apologise for what he did to my dad. He did make an apology in a roundabout way for the ongoing suffering that my family has to endure, but he couldn’t find it within himself to say he was sorry for kidnapping, torturing and beheading my father,” she said.
Ms Haines said she thinks the “most likely” explanation for his apparent disappearance is that he is somewhere in the US prison system “offering assistance to authorities”.
“I’m aware of the saying in prison circles that ‘snitches get ditches’ – if that’s the case it will be a situation he brought on himself,” he said.
Mr Haines was among some 27 people thought to have been murdered by the so-called Isis Beatles, whose other members included Mohammed Emwazi, Aine Davis and El Shafee Elsheikh.
The terror cell, which earned the Beatles nickname because of the group’s British accents, broadcast their horrific murders online, sparking headlines and outrage around the world.
Kotey and Elsheikh were both captured in Syria in 2018 while trying to flee to Turkey.
In 2021, Kotey pleaded guilty to eight charges including lethal hostage-taking and conspiracy to support terrorists.
He also admitted involvement in the deaths of four Americans – journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid workers Kayla Mueller and Peter Kassig – and was sentenced to life in prison.