Cooperation with the United States over two Islamic State terror suspects has been suspended by Britain, the government has announced today, following concerns raised that they can face the death penalty.
On Monday, Britain said it was sharing intelligence to help the two fighters who were captured in Syria, and were part of a British Jihadist group nicknamed the “Beatles”.
But Interior minister Sajid Javid, faced intense criticism after agreeing to share intelligence without seeking assurances the men would not face execution if they were extradited.
The Home Office said it had agreed to a “short-term pause” of the mutual legal assistance process with the US over Alexanda Amon Kotey and El Shafee el-Sheikh after a request from lawyers acting for one of the men.
“We received a request from the legal representative of the family of one of the suspects to pause the MLA response,” a spokesman said.
“We have agreed to a short-term pause. The government remains committed to bringing these people to justice and we are confident we have acted in full accordance of the law and within the government’s longstanding MLA policy.”
On Monday, Security Minister Ben Wallace said British trial was unlikely for the pair, who were seized earlier this year by US-backed Syrian forces.
He also said the pair were not British citizens, without giving further details. News reports had said that the government had unusually stripped them of their nationality.