Alleged member of IS ‘Beatles’ charged with terrorism in UK

LONDON — An alleged member of an Islamic State cell nicknamed “The Beatles” who tortured and killed Western hostages was charged with terrorism offenses in Britain on Thursday after being deported from Turkey.

Aine Davis, 38, was arrested Wednesday night at Luton Airport north of London after arriving on a flight from Turkey and charged with crimes under the Terrorism Act, the Metropolitan Police Service said.

During a court appearance on Thursday, senior district judge Paul Goldspring ordered that Davis be held in custody until his next court appearance on Sept. 2.

The militants, dubbed “The Beatles” by their captives because of their British accents, were detained about two dozen Westerners a decade ago, when IS controlled much of Syria and Iraq. Several of the inmates were killed in gruesome beheadings that were broadcast online, including Americans James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British David Haines and Alan Henning.

Davis spoke briefly to confirm his name and date of birth at a brief hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court in London. He was not asked to submit a plea.

Prosecutors say he has been charged with possession of a firearm for terror purposes, and two charges related to terrorist financing, after a friend allegedly tried to take $20,000 into Syria. The charges relate to alleged crimes committed in 2013 and 2014.

Davis was arrested in Turley in 2015 and convicted in 2017 for membership in the Islamic State group. At his trial there, he denied being one of “The Beatles.”

The four alleged members of the group knew each other 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.

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Two others, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, were captured by US-backed Kurdish forces in 2018 and are imprisoned in the US. Kotey has been given a life sentence and Elsheikh is expected to receive a life sentence when he is formally convicted later this month.

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