UK 'won't block death penalty for IS Beatles'

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Two members of a terror cell can face US justice after the UK dropped its requirement for assurances they would not be executed if found guilty, according to a report. Captured jihadists Alexanda Kotey and Shafee El-Sheikh, who held British citizenship, are members of the "Beatles" group of Islamic State terrorists. The Daily Telegraph cited documents showing that the UK government has abandoned its opposition to the death penalty so they can be sent to the US.

A letter sent by home secretary Sajid Javid to US attorney general Jeff Sessions said: "I am of the view that there are strong reasons for not requiring a death penalty assurance in this specific case, so no such assurances will be sought. I have instructed my officials to set out the terms of our assistance and to work with your officials to action the request. As you are aware, it is the long-held position of the UK to seek death penalty assurances, and our decision, in this case, does not reflect a change in our policy on assistance in US death penalty cases generally, nor the UK Government's stance on the global abolition of the death penalty."

Other documents say that there would be no formal opposition to the two men being sent to Guantanamo without trial.

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