(JTA) — A British national who traveled to the Middle East on a Gaza aid convoy organized by anti-Israel lawmaker George Galloway has been identified as a member of an Islamic State execution cell that once was led by the notorious “Jihadi John.”
The cell member has been identified as Alexanda Kotey following an investigation by BuzzFeed News and the Washington Post.
The cell has beheaded at least 27 Western hostages. Its four members are nicknamed “the Beatles” because they speak with British accents.
Kotey, of London, reportedly traveled on Galloway’s 2009 aid convoy, Viva Palestina, the Jewish Press reported, and was not heard from again in England.
An unnamed U.S. intelligence official confirmed to the two publications that Kotey had traveled to Syria and said his role in the taking of Western hostages was being investigated.
Jihadi John, who was filmed murdering a number of captives, including the American-Jewish journalist Steven Sotloff, was identified as Mohammed Emwazi. He was killed by U.S. drone strike in November. Emwazi and Kotey attended the same mosque.
Kotey, who is half Ghanaian and half Greek Cypriot, converted to Islam, grew a beard and began dressing in robes in his early 20s after falling in love with a Muslim woman.
CORRECTION: This article stated incorrectly that the George Galloway aid mission was a flotilla; it was a land convoy.