Alleged member of IS ‘Beatles’ charged in UK with terrorism
LONDON (AP) — An alleged member of an Islamic State group cell nicknamed “The Beatles” that tortured and killed Western hostages was charged with terrorism offenses in Britain on Thursday after being deported from Turkey.
Aine Davis, 38, was arrested at Luton Airport north of London on Wednesday night after arriving on a flight from Turkey and charged with offenses under the Terrorism Act, the Metropolitan Police Service said.
During a court appearance on Thursday, Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring ordered Davis held in custody until his next court appearance on Sept. 2.
The militants dubbed “The Beatles” by their captives because of their British accents, held about two dozen Westerners a decade ago, when IS controlled a large swath of Syria and Iraq. Several of the captives were killed in gruesome beheadings that were broadcast online, including Americans James Foley and Steven Sotloff and Britons David Haines and Alan Henning.
Davis spoke briefly to confirm his name and date of birth during a brief hearing at London’s Westminster Magistrates Court. He wasn’t asked to enter a plea.
Prosecutors say he has been charged with possession of a firearm for terror purposes, and two charges related to funding terrorism, after a friend allegedly tried to take 20,000 euros to Syria. The charges relate to alleged offenses in 2013 and 2014.
Davis was arrested in Turley in 2015 and convicted in 2017 of belonging to the Islamic State group. During his trial there, he denied being one of “The Beatles.”
The group’s four alleged members knew one another in West London before traveling to the Middle East and joining IS. Mohammed Emwazi, who carried out the executions and was nicknamed “Jihadi John,” was killed in a drone strike in 2015.
Two others, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, were captured by U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in 2018 and are imprisoned in the U.S. Kotey has been given a life sentence and Elsheikh is expected to get life when he is formally sentenced later this month.