Daughter of ISIS hostage David Haines stares down terrorist linked to his death

Bethany Haines says she felt 'nothing but disgust' after seeing El Shafee Elsheikh in court

Bethany Haines, right, is the daughter of killed British aid worker David Haines. Alamy
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The daughter of a British aid worker killed by ISIS has come face to face with one of the men accused of being a member of the ISIS gang known as "The Beatles" and conspiring to murder her father, David Haines.

At a pretrial hearing in the US, Bethany Haines saw El Shafee Elsheikh for the first time.

She has since explained how her life was turned upside down by the killing of her father and said she would tell the court that she wanted Elsheikh, who is due to stand trial in January, to reveal where the bodies of ISIS hostages were buried.

She said she felt “nothing but disgust” for Elsheikh, who is accused of involvement in the murder of several British and American hostages in Syria between 2014 and 2015.

Ms Haines plans to tell Elsheikh in court to "give up the location of the remains of our loved ones".

She will urge him to "do it for my son who can finally say goodbye to his grandad", she said.

At the pretrial hearing she, and the relatives of other hostages killed by ISIS, saw the accused for the first time.

“Even hearing my dad’s name in court, I got emotional and had to step out for a moment,” Ms Haines said.

She described what it was like to see Elsheikh for the first time.

“He was masked. And so I couldn't really tell what his facial expression was," she said.

“He just stared right into my eyes and I stared back. I'm not going to be intimidated by him. I'm not going to look away.

"You know, I've nothing to be ashamed of. He's the one who's got to be intimidated or embarrassed."

She has also revealed what she plans to say when she makes an impact statement to the court.

Mr Haines said Elsheikh “brutally murdered good and innocent people”.

Diane Foley, mother of killed journalist James Foley, and Marsha Mueller, whose aid worker daughter Kayla was another ISIS victim, also attended the pretrial hearing.

“I actually thought I would be really angry and struggle with keeping a cool head, but I actually felt nothing but disgust,” Ms Haines said.

She said her “whole life has been turned upside down” by her father's killing and that she “wakes up everyday thinking about him”.

“The Prophet Mohammed said the worst person before Allah would be the one who killed those who did not fight him," she plans to say in her impact statement.

“No matter what you say, this was not about religion, you brutally murdered good and innocent people, and now you have to live with that for the rest of your life.”

Last month, Alexanda Amon Kotey, who is also accused of being a member of the ISIS 'Beatles' gang, has pleaded guilty to several charges, including kidnap, torture and murder.

As part of his plea deal, he has agreed to meet victims’ families.

Updated: November 22, 2021, 11:38 AM