Four people who pledged to fight for Daesh* in Syria and wound up being guards for Western prisoners and hostages are thought to have belonged to the so-called “Beatles” cell within the terrorist group. They are all believed to have grown up in west London, UK, which is reflected by their accents, hence their name.
A man identified as Aine Davis has been detained in the UK on suspicion of participating in an infamous terrorist group cell that executed hostages, BBC reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, after being released from a Turkish prison where he had been serving a seven-and-a-half-year sentence for belonging to the terrorist organization, Davis flew into Luton airport. Davis claimed during his trial that he was not a member of the group dubbed the Daesh “Beatles” for the members’ British accents.
Police are reportedly holding Davis in their custody. Officers from the Counter Terrorism Command of the Metropolitan Police detained the 38-year-old and took him to a police station in south London after his detention.
Davis was reportedly detained in connection with offenses under the Terrorism Act of 2000, such as fundraising and having items intended for terrorism. According to US authorities, the terrorists of the so-called “Beatles” cell beheaded hostages, having killed 27 prisoners. Global outrage erupted after videos of the murders were distributed internationally.
Davis was first sentenced to prison in 2006 for having a handgun in his possession and for drug offenses prior to becoming radicalized. He took the name Hamza after converting to Islam and met Mohammed Emwazi, who was nicknamed Jihadi John by the media.
The two belonged to a group of radicalized London-based Muslims. In 2013, Davis departed the UK to join Daesh in Syria; however, he was detained near Istanbul in 2015, and two years later, a Turkish court found him guilty of being a high-ranking member of a terrorist organization.
Davis acknowledged knowing Emwazi at his trial because they both attended the same west London mosque to pray, but he denied being friends with him or being a member of the Daesh “Beatles” group.
Four US hostages including journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and humanitarian workers Kayla Mueller and Peter Kassig, along with British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, and Japanese journalists Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto, are alleged to have died as a result of the terrorist cell’s operations.
In 2015, Emwazi was annihilated in Syria. After being captured by Kurdish forces in Syria in 2018, the other two members of the group are being held in captivity in the US.
El Shafee Elsheikh will begin serving his sentence in the US this month after being found guilty in April, while Alexanda Kotey is now serving a life term.
Kotey pleaded guilty to eight offenses, including taking a hostage with the intent to kill and conspiring to aid terrorism, while Elsheikh was tried and found guilty of charges that included taking a hostage with the intent to kill and conspiring to commit murder. In 2018, both individuals had their British citizenship revoked.