A Briton accused of being one of ISIS‘ gang of murderous UK-born terrorists known as The Beatles was swept into a London court inside an armoured police van tailed by armed police today after being charged with terror offences.
Aine Leslie Davis, 38, also known as Aine Leslie Rodrigues and Hamza Davis, was arrested when his deportation flight from Turkey landed at Luton Airport last night.
This morning he was charged with offences contrary to sections 15, 17 and 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The first two charges relate to fundraising for the purposes of terrorism and the final charge relates to possession of a firearm for terrorist purposes.
London-born Davis has been remanded in police custody and is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ this morning. And an armoured police van brought him to the court from a south London police station at after 9am.
The blue vehicle was followed by a Mercedes car containing anti-terrorism officers into the underground car park.
Davis, 38, is due to appear in Court One later this morning to face a series of terrorism charges before senor district judge Paul Goldspring.
Last night officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command arrested Davis at Luton Airport after he arrived into the UK on a flight from Turkey, where he was serving seven-and-a-half years for being a senior member of ISIS until his release and deportation.
He was taken to a south London police station, and subsequently charged with the terror offences.
An armoured police van, believed to be carrying Aine Davis, arrives at The City of Westminster Magistrates Court this morning
Aine Davis was arrested by counter terrorism police earlier last night at Luton Airport and charged with three terror offences this morning
Davis was held after landing at Luton Airport (pictured) on a plane from Turkey, where he was deported from yesterday after serving time in prison
What has Aine Davis been charged with?
- Between January 13 and January 16 2014 invited another to provide money intending that it should be used for terrorism purposes, contrary to section 15 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
- Between January 13 and January 16 2014 entered into or becoming concerned with an arrangement a result of which money was to be made available to another, knowing or having reason to suspect it was to be used for the purposes of terrorism, contrary to section 17 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
- Between July 28 2013 and January 16 2014 possessed an article, namely a firearm, in circumstances which give rise to a reasonable suspicion that his possession is for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism, contrary to section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
The 38-year-old, the son a dinner lady and a father who sold clothes at John Lewis who was born in Hammersmith, has repeatedly denied being ‘Jihadi Paul’, a group named after The Beatles due the British accents of its members, all of whom hail from London.
Davis left the UK to join ISIS in 2013 but on November 12 2015 he was arrested in a raid on a villa near Istanbul on the same day Mohammed Emwazi – The Beatles’ executioner-in-chief known as ‘Jihadi John’ – was eviscerated in a US drone strike as he stepped out of his car in Raqqa.
At his Turkish trial Davis described pictures of him with fighters as ‘stupid photos’ he had done for a laugh. He admitted knowing Emwazi from their mosque in west London but denied being his friend or having anything to do with his heinous crimes. But he was convicted of being a senior ISIS member put in an Ankara jail until he was released and deported yesterday.
Despite joining ISIS, Davis has retained his British citizenship meaning he could be deported from Turkey back to the UK.
This has prompted criticism from some quarters, with claims he could be stripped of his citizenship and sent to The Gambia instead, as he spent a large portion of his childhood there.
He lived with his grandmother there because he apparently drove his mother ‘crazy’. He later returned to London.
A spokesman for the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division said: ‘The CPS authorised the Metropolitan Police to charge Aine Leslie Junior Davis for terrorism offences in 2014, and after being deported to England by Turkish authorities he has been arrested at Luton airport following his return to the UK.
‘Mr Davis, 38, has been charged with terrorism offences and possession of a firearm for a purpose connected with terrorism.
‘The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Davis are active and that he has the right to a fair trial.’
Led by ‘Jihadi John’ – a Westminster student whose real name was Mohammed Emwazi – ‘The Beatles’ beheaded Western captives and are said to have been murdered 27 people.
Emwazi was eviscerated by a US drone strike in 2015, while two other members of the group were convicted of terrorism charges 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 citizenship when they joined ISIS in Syria in 2014.
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 sentenced for his crimes later this month.
According to ITV News, Kotey has told US interrogators that he was friendly with Davis and invited him for lunch at his house – but said he was not involved in keeping hostages for ISIS.
On his arrival in Britain last night, Davis was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command who were waiting at the gate.
‘Jihadi John’ – a Westminster student whose real name was Mohammed Emwazi – was the ringleader of ‘The Beatles’ who beheaded Western captives and are said to have been murdered 27 people. He was killed in a US drone strike
Alexanda Kotey (right) and El Shafee Elsheikh (left) are both British but they renounced their citizenship when they joined ISIS in Syria in 2014
If stripped of his citizenship it would echo the case of Shamima Begum, who had her UK citizenship taken away by the former Home Sectretary Sajid Javid after she joined ISIS.
This sparked a row, with the Government claiming she would have Bangladeshi citizenship as her parents were from the country.
But the government of Bangladesh claimed she did not have citizenship and would not be allowed to enter its territory.
Begum later launched a legal case against the UK Government, claiming it made her stateless which is against British law.
In February 2021 the Supreme Court decided in favour of the Home Secretary, and ruled she was not allowed to return to the UK and that her rights were not breached when she was refused permission to return.
A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘We will always ensure the safety and security of the UK, and will not allow anything to jeopardise this.’
‘We can confirm that a British national has been deported from Turkey to the UK, but it would be inappropriate to comment further while police enquiries are ongoing.’
Before being deported, Davis had been in a prison in the capital Ankara for the last seven years.
He travelled to the Middle East in 2013, was captured by Turkish authorities in November 2015 in Istanbul, and in 2017 was convicted of being a member of ISIS, which had been designated a terrorist group.
Last month it was reported Turkey wanted to send him back to the UK at the end of his sentence as it doesn’t want to become a ‘dumping ground’ for Western terrorists.
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 when he was six with his family.
Prior to joining ISIS he worked as a salesman for an IT company in Kuwait.
He was 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 Syrian city of Raqqa in November 2015.
‘George’ – Alexanda Kotey
Alexanda Kotey was sentenced to life in prison earlier this year.
Another Londoner, Kotey converted to Islam in his early twenties.
He was captured along with another member of the terrorist cell when he tried to flee Syria into Turkey in January 2018.
He was extradited to the United States where he faced charges for his role in the killing of torture and killing of hostages.
In September last year it was announced that Kotey had signed a plea deal accepting guilt for eight offences 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 he is moved back to the UK for the rest of his sentence.
‘Ringo’ – El Shafee Elsheikh
El Shafee Elsheikh is set to be sentenced later this month in the United States after being found guilty of terrorist offences
Like the other ‘Beatles’ Elsheikh was raised in London after his family moved from Sudan when he was a child.
Like Kotey, he was a fan of his local team Queens Park Rangers, and he was captured with him when trying to cross the Turkish border in 2018.
He was extradited to the United States after being captured and charged with terrorist offences.
During his trial he admitted being a member of ISIS, but denied he was a member of the ‘Beatles’.
He was found guilty after a three week trial, and is set to be sentenced later in August.