Two Londoners accused of being members of the Islamic State group have called into question the British government’s attempt to have them tried in the US.

Speaking to the BBC from a jail in Syria, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey also denied they had been stripped of their British citizenship.

The pair were captured in January.

Alexander Kotey mother is Cypriot and his father from Ghana, but was born in the UK.

US officials believe the “execution cell” – dubbed “The Beatles” by their hostages because of their UK accents – beheaded at least 27 Western hostages.

They are currently being held in solitary confinement in northern Syria after being caught by US-backed Kurdish forces.

Last month, UK government said it would demand no “assurances” that the pair will not receive the death penalty if they are tried in the US.

“What makes the British government want a British citizen to be tried in America? Like what’s behind it?” said Mr Elsheikh.

When asked about having their UK citizenship revoked, Mr Elsheikh said: “That has not been confirmed”.

However, Security Minister Ben Wallace confirmed it in the House of Commons last month.

What did the cell do?

Journalists and aid workers from the UK, US and Japan were among the cell’s victims.

The group created brutal propaganda videos, and are said to have tortured dozens of people


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