British jihadi Aine Davis convicted in Turkey on terror charges

Davis, who has been jailed for seven and a half years, is suspected of being a member of cell that oversaw videoed beheadings.

Aine Lesley Davis, one of the British jihadists who brutalised and beheaded western hostages in Syria, has been convicted in Turkey on terrorism charges and jailed for seven and a half years.



Davis, 35, is suspected by western intelligences services of being a member of the cell – along with Mohammed Emwazi, also known as Jihadi John – that oversaw the beheadings of hostages including the British aid workers Alan Henning and David Haines and the US journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley.

Davis, from west London, was found guilty at a court in Silivri, a town 45 miles west of Istanbul, of being a member of a terror organisation. Officials believe he had been plotting an attack in Turkey.

The UK Foreign Office has confirmed it is aware of the conviction.

When asked to comment on the verdict, Davis reportedly told a BBC journalist to “fuck off”.

Along with two other Britons, Alexander Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, Davis and Emwazi formed a quartet of killers nicknamed “The Beatles” who killed and tortured more than two dozen hostages. Davis is the only one to have been brought to justice to date. Kotey and Elsheikh’s whereabouts are unknown.

Emwazi, the masked executioner who paraded orange-clad hostages on camera, was killed by a US drone strike in Syria more than a year ago. Davis, a former tube driver and drug dealer, and Emwazi used to pray at the same west London mosque.

In court, Davis denied he was a member of Islamic State. British intelligence officers say there is no doubt about his allegiance.

Davis is thought to have converted to Islam shortly after being jailed in the UK in 2006 for possessing a firearm. He took the name Hamza and travelled the Middle East. He is believed to have travelled to Syria in 2013 where he fought under the black flag of Isis.

According to the BBC report, Davis was captured at a seaside villa in Silviri in November 2015 along with a Jordanian and Palestinian man. All three were found guilty on Tuesday.

Davis was asked about his involvement with the so-called Beatles cell and denied involvement. “I am not Isis. I went to Syria because there was oppression in my country.”
Aine Davis

Speaking in English before the verdict, he told 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.”

In 2014 Davis’s wife, Amal el-Wahabi, 27, became the first woman to be jailed for terrorism offences connected to Syria after she was caught paying a smuggler to take €20,000 (£15,000) in cash to Turkey for her husband.

Sentencing her at the Old Bailey, the judge said she “knew he was engaged in violence with guns for extremist religious and ideological reasons”.

The court heard that Davis sent his wife a video of Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaida preacher, proclaiming “martyrdom is a gift and a blessing from the lord of the universe and not a loss”, and another about the shame and disgrace of those who avoided jihad.


guardian

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