Murdered hostage Darren Haines’ daughter tells how she stared down terrorist in US courtroom 


The brave daughter of a British aid worker killed by the ‘Islamic State Beatles’ says she felt ‘nothing but disgust’ when she came face-to-face with one of the men accused of conspiring to murder her father.

Bethany Haines, whose father David was taken hostage and killed in Syria in 2014, told an ITV News documentary of how she stared down the terror suspect at a courtroom in Virginia, US. 

While attending the court hearing of El Shafee Elsheikh, who is due to stand trial in January next year, Bethany recalled how he chillingly stared ‘right into my eyes’.  

In the documentary The ISIS ‘Beatles’: Blood On Their Hands, she said: ‘He was masked. And so I couldn’t really tell what his facial expression was.

‘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.’  

While attending the court hearing of El Shafee Elsheikh, who is due to stand trial in January next year, Bethany Haines (pictured) recalled how he chillingly stared 'right into my eyes'

While attending the court hearing of El Shafee Elsheikh, who is due to stand trial in January next year, Bethany Haines (pictured) recalled how he chillingly stared ‘right into my eyes’

David Haines, James Foley and Kayla Mueller had all travelled to Syria before they were captured by the terror group, known as the Islamic State Beatles because of their British accents (Pictured: David's daughter Bethany)

David Haines, James Foley and Kayla Mueller had all travelled to Syria before they were captured by the terror group, known as the Islamic State Beatles because of their British accents (Pictured: David’s daughter Bethany)

Bethany Haines has talked to ITV News before and after meeting alleged ISIS Beatle accused of killing her father in Syria (Bethany pictured with father David)

Bethany Haines has talked to ITV News before and after meeting alleged ISIS Beatle accused of killing her father in Syria (Bethany pictured with father David)

Elsheikh is accused of being involved in the murder of a number of British and American hostages in Syria between 2014 and 2015.

Bethany said the face-to-face meeting with the Elsheikh was about ‘standing up for’ and ‘representing my dad’ and ‘giving him the voice he doesn’t have’. 

She added: ‘I actually thought I would be really angry and struggle with keeping a cool head, but I actually felt nothing but disgust.’ 

The hearings, taking place ahead of a trial penned for January next year, have brought together families of three of those victims. 

Alongside Haines in court were Americans Diane Foley and Marsha Mueller.  

They are the relatives of James Foley and Kayla Mueller, who had travelled to Syria with David before they were all captured by the terror group, known as the Islamic State Beatles because of their British accents.

Alexanda Amon Kotey, left, and El Shafee Elsheikh, who were allegedly among four British jihadis who made up a brutal Islamic State cell dubbed 'The Beatles'. (Pictured during an interview with at a security center in Kobani, Syria)

Alexanda Amon Kotey, left, and El Shafee Elsheikh, who were allegedly among four British jihadis who made up a brutal Islamic State cell dubbed ‘The Beatles’. (Pictured during an interview with at a security center in Kobani, Syria)

Despite the families being united by their ordeal for nearly ten years, this week was the first time they had all met in person. 

In September, Alexanda Kotey pleaded guilty to multiple charges relating to the kidnapping, torture and murders of four Americans – including James Foley and Kayla Mueller.

As part of his plea deal Kotey has agreed to meet each of the victims families and in return, he will be allowed to return back to the UK after 15 years and serve out the rest of his sentence.

The trial will now only include Elsheikh who still maintains his innocence.    

Bethany Haines was just 17 when her father David was killed, since his death she has travelled to Syria to learn of his final days before he was murdered by ISIS.

ITV News travelled with Bethany (pictured) to the United States as she saw for the first time the man accused of holding her father hostage

ITV News travelled with Bethany (pictured) to the United States as she saw for the first time the man accused of holding her father hostage

On the way to the hearing, Bethany (pictured) said this moment was about 'representing her dad'

On the way to the hearing, Bethany (pictured) said this moment was about ‘representing her dad’

She had been adamant that she would travel to the US so she can look the man charged with conspiring to murder her father in the eye when he faces trial.

Last week Bethany was able to do just that and look her father’s alleged killer Elsheikh in the eye. After that moment she said that she thought he was ‘scum’.

Speaking about the impact being in court had on her Bethany said; ‘Even hearing my dad’s name in court, I got emotional and had to step out for a moment.’

Bethany Haines said she ‘wouldn’t be intimidated’ by Elsheikh 

The ITV News documentary follows the events that brought Bethany into the same courtroom this week, to sit yards from a man from London accused of being an ISIS executioner. 



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