United Kingdom: arrest of one of the alleged “Beatles” of the IS (media)
A Briton accused of being part of an Islamic State (IS) group of kidnappers and assassins, known as ‘The Beatles’, was arrested in the UK on Wednesday, according to British media.
Aine Davis, 38, was arrested after landing at Luton Airport, northwest London, on a flight from Turkey, where he had just served seven and a half years in prison for acts of terrorism , announced several British media, including the BBC.
Mr Davis is accused of being part of a cell of IS kidnappers and killers that abducted dozens of foreigners in Syria between 2012 and 2015. The hostages had dubbed the jihadist group “Beatles” because of their British accent.
The Metropolitan Police, which handle terrorism investigations in the UK, said in a statement that they had arrested a man at Luton Airport who was currently “in police custody”, without giving his name. .
A Home Office spokesman meanwhile said in a statement that a British national had been deported from Turkey to the UK but that it was “inappropriate to give further information as the police investigations are ongoing.”
– Two convicted in the United States –
The four members of the “Beatles” are accused of kidnapping at least 27 journalists and aid workers from the United States, 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 Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller. IS had released propaganda videos showing their executions on social media.
Two of the “Beatles”, Alexanda Kotey (38) and El Shafee Elsheikh (34), former British nationals, were arrested in January 2018 by a Kurdish militia in Syria and handed over to US forces in Iraq before being sent to the UK.
They were finally extradited in 2020 to the United States, to Virginia, on charges of taking hostages, conspiring to kill American citizens and supporting a foreign terrorist organization.
Mr. Kotey pleaded guilty to his involvement in the murders in September and was sentenced to life in prison in April. Mr. Elsheikh was convicted on all counts in April and will be sentenced next week.
The fourth Beatles executioner, Mohamed Emwazi, was killed by a US drone in Syria in 2015.
In 2014, Mr Davis’ wife, Amal El-Wahabi, became the first person in the UK to be convicted of funding IS jihadists for trying to send 20,000 euros to her husband in Syria. During her trial, after which she was imprisoned for 28 months, Mr. Davis was portrayed as a drug trafficker before his departure for Syria.
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