A mother visited the ISIS kidnapper responsible for her murdered son’s abduction in prison – and said he came close to apologizing to her.
Diane Foley visited Alexanda Kotey, 38, at his Virginia jail after the so-called ISIS Beatle was jailed for life in April for helping kidnap, torture and execute hostages in Syria, including Diane’s journalist son James, The Times of London reported.
Speaking at a conference at King’s College in London, Foley said Kotey had ‘come very close’ to apologizing to her for his role in her son’s beheading at the hands of infamous ISIS killer Jihadi John, and that ‘he’s expressed a lot of remorse.’
Kotey – who is currently incarcerated in Alexandria, Virginia – agreed to visit with family members of his victims as a part of a plea deal that would see him transferred to a British prison after serving fifteen years in the US.
Diane Foley’s son, James Foley, was kidnapped and beheaded by an ISIS group known as the ‘ISIS Beatles’
Alexanda Kotey, a British native, was a part of a group of terrorists nicknamed the ‘ISIS Beatles’ by their captors because of their British accents
Foley was beheaded by Jihadi John in August 2014, with a clip of the execution sparking global revulsion
After visiting with him in prison, Foley said that Kotey seemed to be working his way towards feeling sorry for his actions.
‘He’s written me a couple of letters filled with remorse and his attempt at justifying his actions,’ Foley, ‘And, to me, forgiving oneself, forgiving others, is always a long process. It’s nothing quick, but yes, he’s come very close.’
‘Who knows if he’s telling the truth to me, but at least it’s given him something to think about, to recognize what he did to people who were really innocent victims themselves.’
Foley said that the terrorist explained to her how he became radicalized, and brought up the the mistreatment of Muslims.
‘I tried to be a good listener, tried to hear his side of things and how he became radicalized and how he came to see our innocent citizens as evil and the cause for all the pain and suffering that they may have felt,’ she said, ‘It’s very poignant to see how everyone lost. When hatred reigns, everyone loses.
‘It’s been a very, very sad experience all around to be honest, but I’m hoping that, maybe, in time, we can get some reconciliation.’
James Foley was kidnapped by the terror group known as the ISIS Beatles. He was beheaded in a video that the terror group circulated on the internet
Alexanda Kotey plead guilty in April to his role in the kidnapping, torture, and execution of at least six journalists and aid workers
Kotey is one of four ISIS killers who were nicknamed ‘The Beatles’ by their captors because of their English accents.
They shocked the world in 2014 when with the release of a video showing the beheading of 40-year-old journalist James Foley, demanding that President Obama call of airstrikes of the Islamic State in Iraq.
Kotey did not carry out the beheading of Foley himself, but plead guilty to being involved in the death of him and at least five other journalists and aid workers.
El Shafee Elsheikh, 33, was convicted alongside Kotey and will be sentenced in August.
The leader of the group, Mohammed Emwazi – who became known as ‘Jihadist John’ and was the killer of Foley – was killed during an airstrike in 2015.
A man believed to be a fourth member of the group, Aine Davis, was arrested in Turkey in 2017 and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
David Haines (at left) and Steven Sotloff (right) were both captured and beheaded in 2014 after being held by a four-man terrorist group of Britons dubbed ‘The Beatles’ because of their British accents. Members of the cell buried the body of Foley, but burned that of Sotloff because the ground was too dry
Aid worker Kayla Mueller, 26 (left) was forced to be a sex-slave before her execution, and US aid worker Peter Kassig (right) was beaten and tortured before being executed
Not all family members of Kotey’s victims have been so open to listening to the terrorist.
After his guilty plea in April, Bethany Haines, the daughter of journalist David Haines – who was also beheaded by the terror group – walked up to Kotey and told him ‘Why don’t you go rot in hell.’
Haines said she could not forgive Kotey and his accomplices because she felt they had not ‘expressed one ounce of remorse for their actions.’
She said: ‘These two men are selfish and only care about themselves and until they accept their actions, admit to what they’ve done, and apologize, then there is no chance they will be forgiven by me. I have no pity for them’.
Haines said she had ‘struggled wondering why monsters, like these two men, are on this earth but my father isn’t’.
Haines’ brother Michael said his slain relative was a ‘force for good’ who had an ‘unrelenting desire’ to help people.
Michael Haines added that he forgave the terrorists so that they would not have ‘power over me’ any more.