A man accused of being one of the ‘ISIS Beatles’ was arrested last night by counter-terrorism police at Luton Airport.
Aine Davis, who is believed to have been involved in guarding, torturing and beheading prisoners for the terrorist group, has arrived in the UK on a flight from Turkey, according to the BBC.
He had been expelled from the country after serving seven and a half years in prison for being a member of ISIS.
The 38-year-old from Hammersmith has previously denied being ‘Jihadi Paul’, a member of the group named after the Beatles because of the members’ British accents.
Aine Davis was reportedly arrested by counter-terrorism police earlier today after being deported from Turkey
Aine Davis traveled to the Middle East in 2013 to join the extremists
The group was believed to be composed of four British ISIS converts, who were given the role of guarding hostages.
They became infamous after videotapes were released showing them beheading hostages, with US authorities believing they had killed a total of 27.
What was he arrested for?
Davis has been arrested in connection with Sections 15, 17 and 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
This section pertains to fundraising, making it a criminal offense to solicit, provide or receive money for the purpose of terrorism.
A person can be sued for this if the money is intended to be used, or if there is reasonable suspicion that it could be used, for terrorism.
This section relates to financing arrangements.
It makes it an offense for someone to be part of a deal where money or property is made available when they know or reasonably suspect it will be used for terrorism.
This section pertains to possession of material for terrorist purposes.
It makes it a crime for anyone to possess an item that is intended, or reasonably suspected. are used to prepare, commit or instigate an act of terrorism.
This offense carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
Upon his arrival in Britain, Davis was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command.
Having already been prosecuted and serving time for being a member of ISIS in Turkey, he cannot be charged for the same offenses in the UK due to double jeopardy.
It is thought that if he is not charged at all, the police could ask that the courts impose special measures restricting his freedom of movement and activities.
Davis has been arrested on suspicion of violating Sections 15, 17 and 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
This means that he is being held on suspicion of fundraising, financing schemes and possession of objects for terrorist purposes.
Despite joining ISIS, Davis has retained his British citizenship, meaning he can be deported back to the UK from Turkey.
This led to criticism from some quarters, with claims that he could be deprived of his citizenship and sent to The Gambia instead, as he spent much of his childhood there.
Being deprived of his citizenship would echo the case of Shamima Begum, who was stripped of her UK citizenship by former Home Sectarian Sajid Javid after joining ISIS.
This led to an argument, with the government claiming she would have Bangladeshi citizenship because her parents were from the country.
But the government of Bangladesh claimed that she had no citizenship and should not be allowed to enter its territory.
Begum later launched a lawsuit against the British government, claiming it rendered her stateless, in violation of British law.
In February 2021, the High Court ruled in favor of the Home Secretary, ruling that she should not be allowed to return to the UK and that her rights were not violated when her permission to return was refused.
In a statement, the Met Police said: “Officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command arrested a man at Luton airport today, Wednesday, Aug. 10.
The 38-year-old man was arrested tonight after arriving in the UK on a flight from Turkey.
“He was arrested in connection with offenses under sections 15, 17 and 57 of the Terrorism Act, 2000 and was taken to a South London police station where he is currently in police custody.”
Davis was reportedly arrested after landing at Luton Airport (pictured) on a plane from Turkey
A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘We will always ensure the safety and security of the UK and will not allow anything to put this at risk.’
“We can confirm that a British citizen has been deported from Turkey to the UK, but it would be inappropriate to comment further while the police investigation is ongoing.”
Before his deportation today, Davis spent the past seven years in a prison in the capital Ankara.
He traveled to the Middle East in 2013, was imprisoned by Turkish authorities in Istanbul in November 2015 and was convicted in 2017 of membership of ISIS, which had been classified as a terrorist group.
It was reported last month that Turkey wanted to return him to the UK at the end of his sentence, as it does not want to become a ‘landfill’ for Western terrorists.
At his trial, he denied being a member of the “Beatles,” a terrorist cell that became one of ISIS’ most notorious.
Led by ‘Jihadi John’ – real name Mohammed Emwazi – the group beheaded western prisoners.
Alexanda Kotey (right) and El Shafee Elsheikh (left) are both British, but they renounced their citizenships when they joined ISIS in Syria in 2014
Emwazi was killed by a US drone strike in 2015, while two other members of the group were convicted of terrorism in the United States in April.
Alexanda Kotey – known as ‘Jihadi George’ – and El Shafee Elsheikh – known as ‘Jihadi Ringo’ – are both British, but they renounced their citizenships when they joined ISIS in Syria in 2014.
They killed two dozen hostages, including Americans James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller, and at least eight other hostages from various countries, including the UK.
Kotey and Elsheikh were both found guilty of terrorism charges in Virginia, US, and the former was sentenced to life in prison.
Elsheikh will be convicted of his crimes later this month.
‘The Beatles’ got their name from British hostage John Cantlie, a freelance journalist who used the name as code so he could covertly talk about his captors
Where are the ‘ISIS Beatles’ now?
‘John’ – Mohammed Emwazi
Mohammed Emwazi was killed in a US drone strike in Syria in 2015
The leader of the terrorist cell, Emwazi, was born in Kuwait before moving to the UK with his family at the age of six.
Before joining ISIS, he worked as a salesperson for an IT company in Kuwait.
He was the person who beheaded American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, as well as British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning.
He was killed in a US drone strike in the Syrian city of Raqqa in November 2015.
‘George’ – Alexanda Kotey
Alexanda Kotey was sentenced to life in prison earlier this year.
Kotey, another Londoner, converted to Islam in his early twenties.
He was imprisoned along with another member of the terrorist cell when he tried to flee Syria to Turkey in January 2018.
He was extradited to the United States, where he was charged with his role in torture and hostage killing.
In September last year, it was announced that Kotey had signed a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to eight crimes, including hostage-taking resulting in death and murder.
He was sentenced to life in prison in April this year, the first 15 years of which will be served in the US before being transferred back to the UK for the remainder of his sentence.
‘Ringo’ – El Shafee Elsheikh
El Shafee Elsheikh will be sentenced in the United States later this month after being found guilty of terrorist offenses
Like the other ‘Beatles’, Elsheikh grew up in London after his family moved from Sudan as a child.
Like Kotey, he was a fan of his local team Queens Park Rangers, and was captured along with him when he tried to cross the Turkish border in 2018.
He was extradited to the United States after being captured and charged with terrorist offences.
At his trial, he admitted to being a member of ISIS but denied being a member of the Beatles.
He was found guilty after a three-week trial and will be sentenced later in August.