The ISIS Beatles had prisoners wrestle in Royal Rumble style and water board prisoners during the terror campaign.

THE ISIS ‘Beatles’ let their hostages participate in sick ‘Royal Rumble’-style wrestling matches and force them to waterboard, a US court has heard.

Four inmates were forced to participate in a tag team boxing match until they passed out while doing their Islamic State Kidnappers mocked “Comment”.

El Shafee Elsheikh, the British-born Jihadi who was part of the


El Shafee Elsheikh, the British-born Jihadi who was part of the “ISIS Beatles”.Credit: AP
Elsheikh is on trial in the US on terrorism charges


Elsheikh is on trial in the US on terrorism chargesPhoto credit: AFP
Elsheikh, right, with ISIS Beatle Alexanda Kotey


Elsheikh, right, with ISIS Beatle Alexanda KoteyPhoto credit: AP:Associated Press

The “loser”, as decided by the kidnappers, would be tortured by waterboarding.

Federico Motka, an Italian-born aid worker, described his horrifying 14-month ordeal at the hands of the four jihadists.

He admitted during the hearing of evidence court hearing of the suspected terrorist El Shafee Elsheikh33, takes place in Alexandria, Virginia.

Elsheikh is accused of being a member of ISIS beatles‘, so called by her prisoners because of her British accent.

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Motka testified that the group of kidnappers included at least three Britons, nicknamed “John”, “George” and “Ringo”.

Elsheikh is accused by prosecutors of being the one who went by the nickname Ringo, although others have claimed he is George.

All three routinely wore masks that covered everything but their eyes.

In chilling statements, he claimed Elsheikh, “George” and “John” tricked him and three other prisoners into participating in a “royal rumble‘style fight each other for their pleasure.

He said the fighting took place in a prison he dubbed “The Box,” along with fellow inmates James Foley, an American, and Britons John Cantlie and David Haines.

“They called it the Royal Rumble,” he said, referring to the annual WWE wrestling event.

Mr Motka continued: “They were so excited, it was the event of the day. They ordered us to participate in a tag team style boxing match.

“James and John were against me and David. If you were too tired, you had to tag yourself.”

They were so excited it was the event of the day

Federico MotkaFormer IS hostage

Motka said the four had to fight for a full hour, despite being so tired and weak they “could hardly stand our arms.”

He said: “James passed out, John passed out. David almost passed out.

Prosecutor Dennis Fitzpatrick asked if the ISIS Beatles commented on the fight “play-by-play”. Mr Motka replied: “They did a Radio 5 Live commentary.”

On that occasion, the ISIS fighters decided that John Cantile was the winner and had lost Motka, but didn’t carry out their threat to waterboard him.

US journalist James Foley was murdered by the ISIS Beatles


US journalist James Foley was murdered by the ISIS BeatlesPhoto credit: AP:Associated Press

On other occasions, however, he was tortured.

He said one of the guards would use a “stun gun” on the hostages’ bodies and demand that they stick their stomachs or hands through a hole in their cell, where he would hit them with a stun gun.

Abuse by the “Beatles” ranged from “ridiculously childish” things like nipple twisting to waterboarding, Motka said.

He said that Elsheikh and ‘John’ would “goad each other on”, adding: “It was like school kids bullying someone.

Describing the ordeal of waterboarding by Elsheikh and George, Motka said he was forced to lie on his back over the toilet with a sweater covering his face while water was poured over it.

“You’re starting to panic a little bit,” he said. “I was trying to breathe out the side of my mouth. As soon as the sweater absorbs the water, you start losing oxygen…water starts going into your lungs and you start choking.”

At this point, George would always stop the process and say, “That’s enough.”


The four British ISIS fanatics have been nicknamed “The Beatles”.

Alexandra Kotey ‘Ringo’ (38)

  • Raised in Paddington, West London by Ghanaian and Cypriot parents
  • Was a drug dealer before his radicalization
  • Converting to Islam as a teenager, he traveled to Gaza in an aid convoy in 2009
  • He left his two young children in the UK to join ISIS

El Shafee El Sheikh ‘George’ (33)

  • Born in Sudan.
  • Raised in west London as one of three children, traveled to Syria in 2012
  • QPR fan who worked as a mechanic in his early 20s before being radicalized
  • Married Ethiopian aged 21 angry at not being able to move to the UK

Mohammed Emwazi “John” (27)

  • Known as Jihadi John, responsible for the execution of 7 western hostages
  • Born in Kuwait in 1988, moved to the UK with his family at the age of 6
  • Went back to Kuwait at the age of 21 to work as an IT salesman
  • In 2014 he killed American journalist James Foley
  • Obliterated in a US drone strike in November 2015

Aine Lesley Davis “Paul” (38)

  • Also born in London, he was a drug dealer with firearms convictions
  • Converted to Islam and joined ISIS.
  • His wife Amal el-Wahabi was convicted of smuggling money to him
  • Played a minor role in “The Beatles”
  • Sentenced to seven and a half years in prison in Turkey in 2017

Motka said the detainees were forced to wear orange overalls with numbers on the back, similar to those worn by inmates at Guantánamo Bay, to “remind” them of the US prison.

George “always spoke about Guantanamo” and the horrific beatings and abuse was “his idea of ​​what conditions were like at Guantanamo,” he added.

Motka said the four were given little to eat and usually only ate bread and olives.

Elsheikh’s lawyers insist he was just a “simple ISIS fighter” who was not involved in torturing the “Beatles.”

British IS members tortured and murdered US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and auxiliaries Peter Kassig and Kayle Mueller.

Foley, Sotloff and Kassig were beheaded, while Mueller was forced into slavery and repeatedly raped by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State, before being killed as well.

David Haines was also beheaded in September 2014. John Cantlie is still missing, believed to be in the hands of Islamic State nearly a decade after his kidnapping.

Kotey was arrested along with Elsheikh in 2018


Kotey was arrested along with Elsheikh in 2018Photo credit: AFP
Her former prisoner Federico Motka has described his 14-month ordeal


Her former prisoner Federico Motka has described his 14-month ordealCredit: Handout
Mohammed Emwazi, also known as


Mohammed Emwazi, also known as “Jihadi John”Photo credit: AP:Associated Press

Prosecutors say Elsheikh played a key role in torturing about 20 Western hostages they kidnapped between 2012 and 2015.

Motka is the first surviving hostage to testify at Elsheikh’s trial, which entered its second day on Thursday.

He was kidnapped near a refugee camp on the Turkish border and taken there Syria in March 2013.

Motka was finally released on May 25, 2014 after 14 months in captivity, more than any other “Beatles” hostage.

Mohammed Emwazi, the ISIS executioner known as “Jihadi John”He was killed in a drone strike in 2015 while Alexanda Kotey and Elsheikh were captured in Syria in January 2018 and taken to Virginia to stand trial.

Last year, Kotey pled guilty to a plea deal seeking a life sentence.

As part of the deal, he will serve 15 years in prison and then be in the US sent to Britain for further charges.

Elsheikh’s charges carry a potential death sentence, but US prosecutors have advised UK officials that is the case will not seek the death penalty against every man.

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He is in front of you unconditional life imprisonment.

The process goes on. The ISIS Beatles had prisoners wrestle in Royal Rumble style and water board prisoners during the terror campaign.

Bobby Allyn

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