Hostages held in Syria by ISIS were forced to sign Osama Hotel


On Wednesday, a French journalist kidnapped by the Islamic State in Syria testified that his captors forced him and other hostages to perform a grotesque version of the Eagles song “Hotel California,” titled “Hotel Osama.” .

During the trial of El Shafee Elsheikh, a 33-year-old former British national, Nicolas Henin said: “It was terrifying for us, a joke for them. Henin is one of many former prisoners who testified in federal court against a member of the notorious Islamic State kidnapping and murder cell known as the “Beatles”.

Elsheikh is accused of the murders of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, as well as aid workers Kayla Mueller and Peter Kassig.

Henin said that the lyrics to “Hotel Osama” were a variation of the original “Hotel California” lyrics, which were about checking in but never leaving. “If you try, you will die Mr Bigley’s way,” the lyrics go, alluding to British engineer Kenneth Bigley, who was beheaded in 2004 by Jordanian Abu Musab Zarqawi, the leader of the al-Qaeda terrorist group in Iraq.

Between 2012 and 2015, the “Beatles” kidnapped at least 27 international prisoners in Syria. A number of European journalists and charity workers were released after ransoms were paid, but the Americans were beheaded and films of their deaths were released by IS for propaganda purposes.

Elsheikh, 33, grew up in west London after being born in Sudan. He is the fourth and last British terrorist to join the Islamic State. After traveling to Syria to join the terrorist organization, he was involved in a number of hostage killings.

He was captured in 2018 with a certain Alexande Kotey as he attempted to flee to Turkey, and has since been extradited to the United States, where he now faces charges of terrorism and the execution of Western captives. Elsheikh has denied the allegations and his lawyers say his incarceration was the result of a mistake.

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