38-year-old Briton Aine Leslie Davis is an alleged member of the Islamic State armed group 'Beatles'.
An alleged member of the Islamic State (IS) armed group 'Beatles', cell specializing in the capture, torture and execution of Western hostages, appeared and was charged in London on Thursday after his deportation from Turkey.
Arrested at London's Luton Airport on Wednesday evening, Aine Leslie Davis is being prosecuted for offenses relating to the financing of terrorist activities dating back to 2014 and for possession of a firearm dating back to 2013-2014 at terrorism-related purposes, according to the British prosecution.
After a brief hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court in London, he was kept in custody, the judge pointing out his propensity to travel with false documents.
Wearing a short beard and a gray T-shirt, he spoke only to state his identity.
The next preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 2, in Old Bailey Court.
Aine Leslie Davis was on a serving warrant. judgment issued in January 2015 by the British courts.
Arrested in Turkey in November 2015, he had been detained there after being sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for terrorist offenses by a local court, in particular for his participation in a prohibited organization.
He was released in July, before being placed in a detention center until his deportation.
According to the prosecution, after trips to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, he traveled to Syria in 2013 via Turkey. In photographs he sent to his wife, it is clear that he was with fighters in Syria, prosecutor Kashif Malik said Thursday, citing for example a snapshot showing 40 armed men.
The four members of these Beatles, where Davis would be Paul, so nicknamed because of their British accent, are accused of having kidnapped at least 27 journalists and aid workers from the United States, the United Kingdom, ;Europe, New Zealand, Russia and Japan.
They are also suspected of having tortured and killed, including by beheading, American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, as well as humanitarian workers like Peter Kassig. ISIS had released propaganda videos showing their executions on social media.
The best known of the group, Mohamed Emwazi, alias Jihadi John, was killed by a drone American in Syria in 2015. He appeared in multiple butchering videos.
The other two Beatles, Alexanda Kotey (38, Ringo) and El Shafee Elsheikh (34, George), former British nationals, were arrested in January 2018 by a Kurdish militia in Syria and handed over to US forces in Iraq before being released. #x27;to be sent to the UK.
They were eventually extradited in 2020 to the United States, to Virginia, on charges of taking hostages, conspiracy aimed at killing US citizens and supporting a foreign terrorist organization.
Alexanda Kotey pleaded guilty to his involvement in the murders in September and was sentenced to life in prison in April. El Shafee Elsheikh was found guilty on all counts in April, and will be sentenced next week.
In 2014, the wife of Aine Leslie Davis, Amal El-Wahabi, had become the first person in the UK to be convicted of funding IS jihadists by trying to send 20,000 euros to her husband in Syria. During her trial, after which she was imprisoned for 28 months, her husband had been portrayed as a drug trafficker before he left for Syria.
During their heyday, the Beatles had earned a solid reputation for ruthlessness that earned them prestige within the ranks of ISIS.
They saw themselves as the special forces of the Caliphate, explained to AFP at the end of 2020 the ex-French hostage Nicolas Hénin, describing a very great arrogance, a level of conviction and contempt for the facts and a detachment from the violence which were quite staggering.