British ISIS jihadist and member of the ‘Beatles’ terrorist cell convicted in Turkey
British jihadist, who was part of an Isil cell known as the “Beatles” which tortured foreign hostages, has been convicted in Turkey on terror charges.
Aine Davis, 33, from Hammersmith in west London, was arrested in November 2015 for his role in a plot to carry out attacks in Istanbul similar to those in Paris that targeted the Bataclan theatre, the Stade de France and cafes and restaurants.
A judge in a court in Silivri, a district of Istanbul, found Davis guilty of being a senior member of a terrorist organisation on Tuesday and sentenced him to seven years and six months in prison.
The trial heard how Davis, a former Tube driver, had been tracked there by Turkish police and intelligence officials days after being smuggled out of Syria.
When police raided the house in Silivri they found a group of men, including three other Britons who were also accused of being members of ISIS, charges they each denied.
He was part of a four-man group of Britons, along with executioner Mohammed Emwazi, or ‘Jihadi John”, which overseen the videoed beheadings of victims including the British aid workers Alan Henning and David Haines, and the US journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley.
The US State Department recently named fellow west Londoners Alexanda Kotey, 33, and El Shafee Elsheikh as the other members of the “execution cell”, which they accused of “beheading more than 27 hostages and torturing many more”.
Davis is believed to have converted to Islam while serving a jail sentence in Britain. He had previously dabbled in petty crime and had convictions for drug-dealing and firearms possession.
He met and became friends with Emwazi, who was killed in a US drone strike in 2015, at a mosque in west London.
The son of a dinner lady and a John Lewis shopworker, he abandoned his life in London to become a jihadist in Syria, and has posed for pictures with fighters in combat fatigues.
In 2014, Davis’s wife, Amal El-Wahabi, became the first person in Britain to be convicted of funding jihadi fighters in Syria and was jailed for two years.
Davis denied the charges on Tuesday, telling the court: “I want to make clear I am innocent of the charges… I don’t even know why this case has taken so long to judge. I just want my freedom.”
He said the press had falsely claimed he was one of the “The Beatles”. “I am not ISIS. I went to Syria because there was oppression in my country,” he added.