A Washington Post report suggests that vetting of volunteers for George Galloway’s Viva Palestina convoys to Gaza could have been more thorough. (Oh, wait– there wasn’t any vetting.):
A member of a British cohort within the Islamic State that oversaw the brutal detention and beheading of Western hostages in Syria has been identified as Alexanda Kotey, a 32-year-old convert to Islam who grew up in West London.
Kotey is the second militant among the group of Islamic State jailers to be named following the unmasking last year by The Washington Post of “Jihadi John” as Mohammed Emwazi — the infamous masked man, also a West Londoner, who beheaded American, British and Japanese hostages on video as he taunted Western leaders.
Emwazi, 27, was killed in a drone strike in November in Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital in Syria, along with another unidentified man. It is unclear whether that second man was also one of the four guards who watched over and tortured Western hostages and were nicknamed the “Beatles” by their prisoners because of their English accents.
Kotey, of Ghanaian and Greek Cypriot background, was identified through a joint Post and BuzzFeed News investigation. His name was confirmed by a U.S. intelligence official and other people familiar with British nationals in Syria, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
Kotey left Britain in 2009, when he traveled to the Gaza Strip on an aid convoy of 110 vehicles organized by George Galloway, then a member of British Parliament. Nine volunteers on the Viva Palestina mission were arrested under the United Kingdom’s Terrorism Act the day before departure. Galloway, a controversial figure in Britain for his radical views, described the arrests as an effort to “smear and intimidate the Muslim community.”
All nine were later released without charges.
Kotey was not the only Viva Palestina participant with, um, questionable beliefs.