It is turning out that a British citizen of Ghanaian descent is a leading member of the dreaded terrorist group, Islamic State (IS), which stock in trade is beheading people.
Leading United Kingdom newspaper, The Guardian, published at the weekend that Alexanda Kotey, a 32-year-old Londoner, was among the terrorists that oversaw the detention and beheading of western hostages in Syria.
According to the newspaper, Kotey, a convert to Islam who grew up in West London, was named as part of the British group nicknamed, “the Beatles,” which included the notorious Mohammed Emwazi, nicknamed Jihadi John.
It said Emwazi’s kidnap gang had overseen the videoed beheadings of victims, including the British aid workers Alan Henning and David Haines, and the US journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley.
The Guardian described Kotey as having “Ghanaian and Greek-Cypriot background and his whereabouts are unknown.”
“His fellow west Londoner, Emwazi, was killed in a drone strike in November. Another West Londoner, Aine Davis, 31, has also been confirmed as part of the cell. Emwazi, Kotey and Davis, a former drug dealer who went to Syria in 2013, were friends in West London and attended the same mosque,” the paper disclosed.
It said a spokesman for the Home Office in London did “neither confirm nor deny” that Kotey and Davis were members of Emwazi’s group.
It said The Washington Post and Buzzfeed media outlets identified Kotey earlier on Sunday, citing a US intelligence official, while ITV News also named Kotey as well as confirming that Davis had been part of the terror cell. The Guardian had independently verified the names.
Members of Kotey’s family are quoted by the newspaper as saying they were “deeply distressed” at the claims and confirmed they had not seen him “for a number of years.”
The Guardian said, “Kotey is believed to have attended the al-Manaar mosque in Westbourne Park, which was also frequented by Emwazi.”
Raised a Greek Orthodox Christian, The Guardian said, Kotey converted to Islam as a teenager, at which point he met Emwazi.
By William Yaw Owusu