A man accused of being one of the ‘ISIS Beatles’ was arrested by counter-terrorism police at Luton Airport last night.
Aine Davis, who is alleged to have been involved in guarding, torturing and beheading prisoners for the terrorist group, arrived in the UK on a flight from Turkey, according to the BBC.
He had been deported from the country after spending 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 due the British accents of its members.
Aine Davis was allegedly arrested by counter terrorism police earlier today after being deported from Turkey
Aine Davis travelled to the Middle East to join the extremists in 2013
The group was thought to have been made up of four British ISIS converts, who were given the role of guarding hostages.
They became infamous after video tapes were released showing them beheading hostages, with US authorities believing they killed 27 in total.
What has he been arrested for?
Davis has been arrested in relation to sections 15, 17 and 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
This section relates to fundraising, making it an offence to asks for, provides, or receives money for the purposes of terrorism.
A person can be charged over this if the money is intended to be used, or there is a reasonable suspicion it could be used, for terrorism.
This section relates to funding arrangements.
It makes it an offence for someone to become part of a deal which sees money or property made available when they know, or reasonably suspect, it will be used for terrorism.
This section relates to possession of materials for terrorist purposes.
It makes it an offence for someone to possess an item that is intended, or is reasonably suspected. to be used to prepare, commission or instigate an act of terrorism.
This offence carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
On his arrival into Britain Davis was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command.
Because he has already been prosecuted and served time for being a member of ISIS in Turkey, he cannot be charged for the same offences back in the UK due to double jeopardy.
It is thought that if he is not charged at all, police could ask for special measures to be imposed by the courts restricting his movement and activities.
Davis has been arrested on suspicion of breaching sections 15, 17 and 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
This means he is being held on suspicion of fundraising, funding arrangements and possession of articles for terrorist purposes.
Despite joining ISIS, Davis has retained his British citizenship meaning he can 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.
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.
In a statement the Met Police said: ‘Officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command have today, Wednesday 10 August, arrested a man at Luton airport.
‘The 38-year-old man was arrested this evening after he arrived into the UK on a flight from Turkey.
‘He was arrested in relation to offences under sections 15, 17 and 57 of the Terrorism Act, 2000 and was taken to a south London police station, where he currently remains in police custody.’
Davis was allegedly 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 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 today, 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.
During his court trial he denied being a member of the ‘Beatles’, a terrorist cell which became among the most notorious in ISIS.
Led by ‘Jihadi John’ – real name Mohammed Emwazi – the group beheaded Western captives.
Alexanda Kotey (right) and El Shafee Elsheikh (left) are both British but they renounced their citizenship 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 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.
They murdered two dozen hostages including Americans James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller, and at least eight other hostages from different 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 sentenced for his crimes later this month.
‘The Beatles’ were given their name by British hostage John Cantlie, a freelance journalist who used the name as a code so he could talk about his captors covertly
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.