LONDON: A British aid worker murdered by Daesh asked his executioners to “make it quick” before they killed him in 2014.
Alexanda Kotey, 37, one of the terror group’s so-called “Beatles” cell, told Bethany Haines, daughter of David Haines — a former Royal Air Force worker from Scotland — that her father had made the request before he was beheaded by fellow terrorist Mohammed Emwazi in 2014.
The revelation came during a meeting between Bethany Haines and Kotey in the US, where the British-born militant is serving a life sentence for his activities with the group.
“He told me that Jihadi John (Emwazi) had been away to execute my father and my father knew what was coming, closed his eyes, and said, ‘Can you make it quick?’ I can picture him saying that, in his orange jumpsuit, with his eyes closed,” Haines said. “I can picture him saying, ‘Please make it quick.’”
Kotey also told her that he had followed David for several days before abducting him in 2013, and that the murder had been delayed so that Daesh could film it from multiple angles to use for propaganda purposed, she added.
“I asked for an apology,” Haines said. “I pressed on with it and eventually he did say, ‘I am sorry for’ — he just used my words for it — ‘abducting and hurting your dad.’ Did he mean it? No.”
Kotey was sentenced to life in prison by a court in Virginia in April, having pleaded guilty to charges of kidnap, torture and executing hostages. Presiding Judge TS Ellis described Kotey as “egregious, violent and inhuman.”
During his trial, Haines confronted him in the dock, saying he should “rot in hell.”
Co-defendant and fellow “Beatle” El Shafee Elsheikh will be sentenced in August. The duo were stripped of their UK citizenship when they were captured in Syria in 2018, and extradited to the US.
Emwazi, meanwhile, was killed in a drone strike in 2015. The fourth “Beatle,” Aine Davis, was recently freed from a prison in Turkey after serving a seven-and-a-half year sentence, and is set to be deported to the UK on July 9.
Between them, the four are thought to have taken part in the torture and murder of 27 people.
Reg Henning, brother of David Henning, another British aid worker murdered by Daesh, said the UK should deny Davis entry over fears that he may be released on arrival.
Davis was subject to an Interpol red notice at the behest of British police after his wife, Amal El-Wahabi, was jailed in the UK for 28 months for trying to send him €20,000 ($20,868), which could see him charged with preparing acts of terrorism abroad.
“He’s British when it suits him,” said Henning. “He left to join Islamic State, but is thinking, ‘I’ll go back to Britain because they’re nice and soft.’”
Dr Alan Mendoza, executive director of counter-terrorism think tank the Henry Jackson Society, told the Daily Mail: “A dangerous jihadist is heading back to the UK after a career of extreme violence and we can do nothing about it except spend vast sums to monitor him.
“We need urgent reform of legislation to ensure national security threats like this are dealt with far from these shores.”
Despite having his citizenship removed, Kotey may also be returned to the UK to stand trial for the deaths of Daesh hostages including David Haines.