British hostage-keeper Alexanda Kotey reveals to ITV News his role in so-called Islamic State
Video report by ITV News Security Editor Rohit Kachroo
A London-born 'hostage-keeper' has for the first time admitted the role he played in the so-called Islamic State.
Alexanda Kotey, who has been detained by Kurdish forces for the past 16 months, has now given a public confession about his part in a plot to kill soldiers and police in drive-by shootings at Shepherd's Bush police station and the Parachute Regiment Territorial Army Barracks at White City in London.
The plot was foiled in 2016 and two British terrorists - Tarik Hassane and Suhaib Majeed - were handed life sentences but ITV News learned Kotey - at the time in Syria - was suspected to be involved.
Now, for the first time, Kotey has admitted helping to organise the plot and direct funds toward the UK terrorists.
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In the same interview he also gave details of his role in a terror cell nicknamed the Beatles by hostages due to their British accents, along with El Shafee Elsheikh, Mohammed Emwazi (nicknamed Jihadi John) and Aine Davis.
Speaking to ITV News, he said: "When people would raise donations in Britain I would co-ordinate with them to send money to us. I used my phone to communicate.
"It’s normal that he (Mohammed Emwazi) would ask me to talk to this guy to see what he had. I was the one who talked to him and I was the one who arranged for him to have a gun with a silencer."
ITV News Security Editor Rohit Kachroo gives his assessment of the Kotey interview:
The 35-year-old says the Shepherd's Bush killing spree was supposed to be part of a wider plan to create sleeper cells in European countries in case of attacks on Syrian cells.
"The idea was to plant people in countries so that if there was any aggression from these countries they would have people who would conduct a mission," he said.
Speaking to ITV News, the Londoner revealed his role as hostage-keeper which involved "extracting" information from western prisoners including British Alan Henning and American James Foley while in Syria.
Kotey, explained how after travelling to Syria from London with Mohammed Emwazi – the killer nicknamed Jihadi John - they were introduced to western prisoners in the Idlib countryside.
The Londoners joined Islamic State in Idlib as regular fighters in 2012 but, following "an order from above", Emwazi was relocated to the Aleppo countryside - a location with a greater concentration of western prisoners - and requested Kotey follow him.
"When that order came for Mohammed to move to the Aleppo countryside he requested that we accompany him."
This is where Kotey says he was assigned the role of "extracting email addresses" from western prisoners.
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"They were more in number [the prisoners] they had gathered them in one place, different nationalities, varying nationalities, this point it was instructed to extract email addresses from them to open up communication," he said.
He says he forced hostages to share the email addresses of relatives so he could inform them their loved ones were being held.
"This was mostly before, in the time of Idlib - the time of Aleppo there wasn't really that kind of interaction between myself and the prisoners.
"It was 'go and take the necessary information and leave'," he said.
Despite admitting his association with Emwazi who is known for carrying out several filmed beheadings, Kotey denies any involvement with those killings.
"I don't see in my case it makes a very big difference if I was actually there or not there," he said, adding: "I have a lot of accusations against me, they are quite heavy accusations so it wouldn't change much if I said I was there or I wasn't."