The Islamic State "Beatles" have been purged.
As the New York Times reported on Thursday, Kurdish forces captured Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh last month. Their capture ends the ISIS group of four British fighters nicknamed "the Beatles" for their accents. One of the other two fighters is in prison in Turkey and the other is dust floating around the desert.
According to the Times, the two men are now in the custody of the U.S. military.
That's a good thing, because it gives President Trump the opportunity to act on his recent State of the Union pledge to re-energize the terrorist detention and prosecution operations at Guantanamo Bay. Conversely, had the men been turned over to British special forces, they would have likely been taken back to the U.K. to face criminal trial in civilian court.
As an extension, while Kotey and Elsheikhe have likely had their British citizenship stripped last year, it is likely the British government will pressure Trump to try them in a U.S. federal court. That's because, insanely, the terrorists at Guantanamo Bay have become a top human rights cause for British liberals and much of the media.
He should resist that pressure for two reasons.
First, because the two men are responsible for the terrorist torture and execution of great Americans like James Foley and Peter Kassig. For these atrocities against the United States, they deserve to face U.S. military justice and then either their own execution under law or life in prison.
Second, because Kotey and Elsheikhe are not criminals, they are enemy combatants. Recognizing this distinction isn't simply important for reasons of appropriate justice, but as a sign for terrorists still at large that the United States recognizes their theological-political agenda and intends to confront it for the threat it is.
Regardless, this is very good news. Just as they once forced innocent men and women to kneel and be beheaded, two mortal enemies of America will now be forced to kneel to the republic's justice.