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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Alleged Fourth Beatle Charged on Return to the U.K.

A man who was alleged to be the fourth member of the Islamic State terror cell nicknamed “The Beatles” has been charged and remanded in custody in the U.K.

Aine Leslie Davis, aged 38, of no fixed address was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command at Luton Airport when he arrived at Luton Airport on August 10. His flight originated in Turkey, where he had spent six years in prison.

Following his arrest, he was subsequently charged with offenses contrary to sections 15, 17 and 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Specifically, he is charged with having invited another to provide money intending that it should be used for terrorism purposes; entered into or became concerned with an arrangement, a result of which money was to be made available to another, knowing or having reason to suspect it was to be used for the purposes of terrorism; and, possessed an article, namely a firearm, in circumstances which give rise to a reasonable suspicion that his possession was for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. The offenses date from July 2013 to January 2014.

Davis denies being the fourth member of the ISIS execution squad dubbed The Beatles which tortured and murdered western hostages in Iraq and Syria. The cell’s leader, Mohammed Emwazi, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2015. Two others, former British citizens Alexanda Amon Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, were captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces as they attempted to flee to Turkey in January 2018, and have been convicted in the U.S. According to evidence presented during Elsheikh’s trial, in addition to physically and psychologically abusing the hostages, The Beatles participated in forcibly exposing the hostages to the murder of other hostages held by ISIS. 

On Sept. 2, 2021, Kotey pleaded guilty to all of the offenses charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia in the eight-count indictment, consisting of one count of conspiracy to commit hostage taking resulting in death; four counts of hostage taking resulting in the deaths of the four Americans (James Foley, Kayla Mueller, Steven Sotloff and Peter Kassig); one count of conspiracy to murder U.S. citizens outside of the United States; one count of conspiracy to provide material support or resources to terrorists resulting in the deaths of U.S., British and Japanese nationals; and one count of conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization resulting in the deaths of U.S., British, and Japanese nationals. Kotey was handed eight life sentences on April 29, 2022. Elsheikh is scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow (August 12).

The Counter Extremism Project reports that Kotey, Davis, and Emwazi all attended the Al-Manaar mosque in Landbroke Grove, London in the early 2000s. The three were reportedly physically removed from the mosque because of their radical behavior.

Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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