THE US will not seek the death penalty against two Brit ISIS fighters who were part of Jihadi John’s execution squad known as “The Beatles”.
America’s attorney general promised that if Britain grants its extradition request the ruthless pair will not be put to death.
The news was revealed in a letter from William Barr to the UK’s Home Secretary Priti Patel.
The move could allow Britain to begin sharing data with US prosecutors ahead of any potential case against El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey – known as “George” and “Ringo”.
An earlier British court ruling had effectively blocked the sharing of evidence without US assurances that the death penalty was off the table.
“I know that the United Kingdom shares our determination that there should be a full investigation and a criminal prosecution of Kotey and Elsheikh,” Barr wrote in the letter.
“These men are alleged to be members of the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham and to have been involved in kidnappings, murders, and other violent crimes against the citizens of our two countries, as well as the citizens of other countries.”
The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter – which was first reported by US site Defense One.
The pair – captured two years ago by a Kurdish militia – are accused of participation in a brutal group known for beheadings and barbaric treatment of American aid workers, journalists and other hostages in Syria.
US officials have not announced any charges against the men, but have spoken publicly about their desire to see members of the cell, known as ‘The Beatles’ because of their British accents, face justice.
“If we receive the requested evidence and attendant cooperation from the United Kingdom, we intend to proceed with a United States prosecution,”Barr wrote.
“Indeed, it is these unique circumstances that have led me to provide the assurance offered in this letter.”
The men were transferred to US custody last October as Turkey invaded Syria to attack Kurds who have battling the Islamic State alongside American forces.
They are being held overseas but Barr said that was not a long-term solution so set a deadline for action.
He said the British government had until October 15 to resolve any legal objections it may have and to provide US authorities with the evidence that they seek.
Otherwise, the men will be transferred to Iraqi custody for prosecution by Iraqi authorities, he wrote.
He said the US would not provide to third countries that might impose the death penalty any evidence it has already received, or may received, from the UK.
The British government confirmed it had received the letter, with the Home Office saying its top priority has always been to protect national security and to deliver justice for families.
Diane Foley, whose journalist son James was killed six years ago by a member of the cell, said she was pleased by the news.
“I feel that both countries ideally should work together to hold these men accountable and give them a fair trial,” she said.
“If they are guilty, they need to be put away for the rest of their lives.”
Including Mohammed Emwazi – or “Jihadi John” – the group was known for its savage cruelty, subjecting foreign hostages to beatings, torture and mock executions.
Emwazi appeared in a number of videos slaughtering hostages including British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning.
Aine Davis – who left the UK in 2013 to fight in Syria – is thought to have been the fourth member of the group.
He was jailed for seven-and-a-half years in Turkey last year after being found guilty of being a member of a terrorist organisation.
So-called Jihadi John first appeared in an ISIS execution video dressed in black and with a knife in his hand in August 2014.
The fanatic was filmed murdering photojournalist Foley during the grisly clip in which he taunted the US and Britain.
The twisted British militant was “evaporated” after being targeted by a US drone in 2015.
Last month Elsheikh and Kotey admitted their involvement in the kidnap, torture and rape of American hostage Kayla Mueller.
They confessed to seeing Kayla imprisoned and getting an email address from her to try and blackmail her parents for ransom.
Kayla – a 26-year-old aid worker – was kidnapped in Aleppo, Syria, before being tortured and raped by ISIS before she was killed in unknown circumstances in 2015.
The two terrorists did not admit to participating in the abuse – but her family believe they were a key part of the horror that Kayla endured while held captive, reports NBC.