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Two suspected British terrorists accused of belonging to a "notoriously brutal" ISIS cell known as "The Beatles" have appeared in court via a video link in the US.

Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, both in their 30s and from west London, allegedly belonged to the vicious group of Islamic State executioners in Syria.

They were given the nickname "The Beatles" by their hostages because of their British accents.

The two are said to be responsible for the deaths of a number of ISIS captives, including British citizens Alan Henning and David Haines.

John Demers, US assistant attorney general for national security, announced the charges against the pair during a news conference on Wednesday.

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He said: "The defendants are charged with terrorism offences related to hostage-taking and killing of four Americans, as well as citizens of Great Britain and Japan."

Demers added that he was "pleased" to confirm Kotey and Elsheikh are in FBI custody, meaning they can "face justice for the depraved acts alleged against them in the indictment".

If found guilty, they both face life in prison.

Mike Haines, brother of David, who the pair are alleged to have killed, spoke of his relief at their court appearance but admitted he knew the process was far from over.

"The pain we experienced as families was excruciating when we lost our loved ones, and the last three years have been a long, horrible waiting game," he said.

"I, like the other families, am relieved that the fate of these two men is closer to being decided, but this is just the beginning."

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  • ISIS
  • Terror
  • Courts

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