Daesh fighter from torture-murder cell jailed in UK for 8 years

Daesh fighter from torture-murder cell jailed in UK for 8 years

LONDON (AFP) : A British Muslim convert who was allegedly part of the Daesh group’s notorious “Beatles” kidnap-and-murder cell was jailed for eight years for terrorist offenses on Monday.

Aine Davis, 39, had last month admitted two charges of financing terrorism between 2013 and 2014 and one of possessing a firearm for a purpose connected to terrorism.

The “Beatles” group, so called because of the members’ distinctive British accents, tortured and beheaded victims and released videos of the gruesome murders.

Davis, who has always denied being connected with the cell, was arrested in Turkiye in 2015 and sentenced in 2017 to seven-and-a-half years for membership of Daesh.

He was released in July last year and deported from Turkiye to Britain the next month. He was re-arrested when he arrived at Luton airport.

He has since been held at the high security Belmarsh prison in southeast London.

Davis had been set to stand trial on the terror charges, after pleading not guilty in March, before changing his plea last month.

Active in Syria from 2012 to 2015, the “Beatles” group was allegedly involved in abducting more than two dozen journalists and relief workers from the United States and at least 15 other countries.

El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Amon Kotey received life sentences in the United States after being captured by a Kurdish militia in Syria in January 2018 and handed over to US forces in Iraq.

Another member of the group, executioner Mohammed Emwazi, known as “Jihadi John,” was killed by a US drone in Syria in November 2015.

Davis last month admitted possessing a firearm contrary to Britain’s Terrorism Act 2000, and to two charges of funding terrorism.

It followed the Court of Appeal dismissing a bid for the charges to be dropped.

Sentencing him at the Old Bailey court, judge Mark Lucraft ordered that Davis serve six years for the firearms offense and two years for terrorism funding. The terms will run consecutively.

“It is clear you have been with fighters in Syria and that you were not there for lawful purposes,” Lucraft said, noting there were images from 2013 of Davis with firearms.

However, the judge noted: “I make it clear I am sentencing you for the offenses on the indictment and for nothing else.”

Davis’s lawyer Mark Summers issued an apology to the Syrian people and others on his client’s behalf.

“He has a number of apologies to make through me today — the first is to the Syrian people,” he told the court.

“The presence of him, those like him and the groups he associated with there, caused more harm than good.”