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Man allegedly linked to ISIS ‘Beatles’ cell charged with terror offenses

<i>Metropolitan Police/PA Images/Sipa USA</i><br/>Aine Davis (left)
Metropolitan Police/PA Images/Al
Metropolitan Police/PA Images/Sipa USA
Aine Davis (left)

By Tara John, Lauren Kent and Jorge Engels, CNN

A man allegedly linked to an ISIS cell known as “the Beatles” has been charged with various terrorism offenses by London’s Metropolitan Police.

Aine Leslie Davis, 38, was held at Luton Airport on Wednesday evening after he arrived in the United Kingdom on a flight from Turkey. He was taken to a south London police station, the Met said in a statement.

Davis appeared on Thursday at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London, where he was remanded in custody. He did not enter a plea.

A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division said that it had “authorised the Metropolitan Police to charge Aine Leslie Junior Davis for terrorism offences in 2014, and after being deported to England by Turkish authorities,” according to PA Media. The spokesperson added that Davis was charged with terrorism offenses and possession of a firearm for a purpose connected with terrorism.

Davis was alleged to have been part of the “Beatles” cell at his trial in Turkey in 2017. The group, which got its name because of the members’ English accents, attained notoriety for their brutal beheading videos of hostages.

He denied being part of ISIS during the trial. “I am not ISIS. I went to Syria because there was oppression in my country,” Davis told the court in 2017.

The cell’s ringleader, Mohammed Emwazi, widely known as Jihadi John, would front these videos, often delivering a message to Western leaders, before murdering his victims. He was killed in a drone strike in 2015.

Earlier this year, a US court convicted one of the ISIS “Beatles” — former British citizen El Shafee Elsheikh — for his role in a hostage-taking scheme that resulted in the deaths of American, British and Japanese citizens. Elsheikh will be sentenced in August, according to a US Department of Justice news release in April.

The Department of Justice statement did not mention a fourth ISIS “Beatle,” but rather mentioned two other ISIS members with whom Elsheikh worked. Co-conspirator Alexanda Kotey was sentenced to life in prison in April.

“According to evidence presented during trial, Elsheikh and two other ISIS members supervised the terrorist organization’s jails and detention facilities at which the hostages were held,” according to the US Department of Justice.

“According to evidence presented during trial, Elsheikh was part of a group of ISIS members who spoke with British accents and were referred to by the hostages as the ‘Beatles.’ He and his convicted co-conspirator, Alexanda Amon Kotey, 38, were captured together in January 2018 by the Syrian Democratic Forces as they attempted to escape Syria for Turkey.”

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CNN’s Jonny Hallam, Susanna Capelouto and Gul Tuysuz contributed to this report.

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