Bethany Haines is daughter of David Haines who was killed by a member of the so-called ISIS Beatles in 2014. Here she recounts her experience of seeing one of the people accused of being involved in her father's death for the first time in a US courtroom.
The Alexandria District Court House would be the perfect setting to come face to face with the men accused of conspiring to murder my dad.
Jet lagged and exhausted I had the chance to look El Shafee Elsheikh in the eye for the first time.
The hearing began on November 17, and I was surprised by my reaction to being in the same room as him.
Instead of the expected rage, I felt nothing but pure disgust.
"Give up the location of the remains of our loved ones, don’t do it for me, do it for my son who can finally say goodbye to his grandad": Bethany Haines reads what she will say to Elsheikh in court
Yet it was also frustrating being in the same room as Elsheikh and him not even managing to look at me.
This all changed on the second day. After a long tedious morning in court, a recession finally came and so did my opportunity.
I had been waiting years for this moment since having missed a hearing in 2020 due to legal reasons.
We clapped eyes on one another, and it quickly became a competition to see who would look away first. I was certain that he had worked out who I was and why I was there.
I was prepared for the hearing to consist of a bunch of lawyers arguing over legal processes, so it was a shock to hear my Dad’s name being mentioned.
Hearing it brought up all the emotion within me. It was even more of a shock to hear that a classified Department of Defence document exists, in which El Shafee Elsheikh gives specific details of what happened to my father.
But after some time, my feelings have changed. At least the answers are out there and it’s only a matter of time until I can finally resolve some of my long-awaited questions regarding what happened to my father.
I am aware that this is only the first step in my legal journey to getting justice, but I am prepared to fight even harder for it and to look in the face of evil once more.
'The ISIS 'Beatles': Blood on their Hands’ will air on ITV on Monday 22 November at 11.05pm.