The brother of slain aid worker David Haines has said he is ready to watch the so-called Islamic State terrorists charged with his brother’s murder when he comes face to face with them for the first time later this week. Mike Haines is in the US to read a victim impact statement as Londoner Alexanda Kotey is sentenced for her role in the murder of four hostages by the terror cell.
The group, nicknamed The Beatles because of their English accents, is believed to consist of ringleader Mohammed Emwazi, known as Jihadi John, Aine Davis, El Shafee Elsheikh and Kotey, and were responsible for the brutal murder of a number of captives Westerners. , which would include Britons Alan Henning and David Haines. The charges against Kotey and his co-defendant Elsheikh, who was convicted after trial this month, relate only to American victims, but he and Elsheikh will appear in court in Virginia on Friday when the families of those murdered by the terrorist cell will turn to the judge of their collective loss.
Elsheikh is expected to be sentenced at a later date. Mr Haines, an RAF veteran and former mental health nurse, told the PA news agency: ‘In some ways I’m obviously quite nervous, and in other ways I can’t wait to get them. to look in the face, to draw a line behind what has happened.
“And that’s the real reason (for) going to read my impact statement in court – to draw a line in the sand and say, ‘Yeah, you’ve been a big part of my family’s life, you’ve had a hold on my family’s life. However, now it stops”.
Elsheikh, Kotey and Emwazi all knew each other in England before joining IS. Elsheikh was captured alongside Kotey in Syria in 2018 by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces as he attempted to flee to Turkey.
Davis was jailed in Turkey and Emwazi was killed in a drone strike, while Kotey pleaded guilty last year to eight counts related to his involvement in the hostage plot. Mr Haines, from Dundee in Scotland, said he would cherish the opportunity to sit down with Kotey to ‘look him in the eye and tell him he was wrong’.
And in an extraordinary display of his rejection of hate, Mr Haines added: ‘What I would like to hear, although I don’t think it will ever happen, is for Kotey to say, ‘I’m sorry, what we were doing was wrong”. And if that were to happen, (for him to say) ‘What we were doing wasn’t about Islam…it was about spreading terror’, then I would shake his hand.
Mr Haines’ younger brother, 44, was captured by militants in Syria in March 2013 while delivering aid to the war-torn country. His murder the following year sent shock waves around the world when a video recording of his barbaric execution was used as propaganda by the Beatles.
The family still does not know what happened to the body. But Mr Haines, who runs the education charity Global Acts Of Unity in honor of his brother, said it was ‘not important’ for him to find out where David’s remains are. .
“Where David’s remains lie, whatever has been done to them…David still walks with me,” he said. “At the end of the presentation, I can feel him patting me on the back and saying, ‘Nice one. My brother walks with me but I don’t need his remains to mourn.
What we’re trying to do with Global Acts of Unity is to show that if we respond with hate, extremists and terrorists win. And they won’t win
Mr Haines, 55, said he continued to be affected by terror attacks around the world and was in fact in Manchester the night of the Arena suicide bombing which killed 22 people in 2017. He said: “Every time we hear of an attack there is sadness in our hearts, because we know this club we belong to has just gotten bigger – this club no one wants be a part of and whose family members and loved ones have been injured, maimed or murdered in an act of terrorism.
“However, what we have seen time and time again is how people react to terrorist attacks. What we’re trying to do with Global Acts of Unity is to show that if we respond with hate, extremists and terrorists win. And they won’t win.
Kotey is expected to receive a life sentence but could still be brought to the UK to stand trial for the deaths of Messrs. Haines and Henning.
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