James Foley

British ISIS Militants Dubbed ‘Beatles’ Guarded Syria Hostages

Terrorism analyst: ISIS ‘looking for a confrontation’ with US 2:33

Three Islamist militants with British accents have been dubbed "The Beatles" by hostages taken in Syria, who recount tales of particular brutality at the hands of European captors. The presence of British jihadists fighting for ISIS is in sharp focus following the release of a video showing the beheading of American freelance journalist James Foley. The video is narrated by a male voice that appears to be British — and has set off alarm bells about the dangers of foreign fighters taken up arms in Syria and Iraq.

Several escaped and freed hostages initially seized in Syria have spoken of a trio of Brits who acted as guards, according to a person close to several recent hostage negotiations. According to the source, "The Beatles" were harsher than other guards. "They were really rough with them," the person told NBC News on Thursday. "Whenever the Beatles showed up, there was some kind of physical beating or torture."