Aine Lesley Davis
|Born||February 11, 1984|
|Known for||convicted of belonging to a terrorist group|
Aine Lesley Davis (born February 11, 1984) is a British convert to Islam, who was convicted, in a Turkish court, of being a member of a terrorist group, while serving as a fighter for the shortlived Daesh "Islamic State".
Prior to leaving the United Kingdom Davis is reported to have worked as a drug dealer, a career that led to drug possession and firearms convictions.
2014 conviction of his wife, in the United Kingdom
During her trial el-Wahabi said one factor that triggered Davis to leave London was his desire to stop using drugs, and to avoid the friends likely to challenge his resolve.
A photo on el-Wahabi's cell-phone, that Davis had sent her, via the WhatsApp application, was used by the prosecution to argue that el-Wahabi should have realized Davis was involved in militancy. The image shows Davis posing with a group of over a dozen young men, many of whom were brandishing rifles.
Citing text messages the pair exchanged on their cell phones the prosecution argued that el-Wahabi arrange the funds transfer to retain Davis's loyalty, because he had threatened to take a second wife.
Alleged to have guarded some of Daesh's foreign captives
Daesh captured some European and North American captives, and it was widely reported that they were tortured, subjected to mock executions, and some of them were ultimately beheaded. Four United Kingdom guards, dubbed The Beatles, were alleged to have played a central role in their abuse. The most vocal, who appeared in several videos, issuing threats, was dubbed "Jihadi John". Davis, whose identity had not yet been established, was dubbed "Jihadi Paul".
Turkish capture and conviction
Davis was captured by Turkish security officials, in Istanbul, on November 12, 2015. A Turkish court convicted him of being a member of a terrorist group, in 2017, and gave him a seven year sentence. According to an article in the New Delhi Times Turkish Prosecutors had originally planned to charge him with "preparing terrorist acts".
At his trial he admitted being acquainted with Emwazi Mohammed, aka Jihadi John, from when they attended the same mosque, in London. But he denied encountering him in Iraq or Syria. He denied playing a role in the abuse of the captives. He claimed he had grown disenchanted with Daesh, and had crossed the border to Turkey, to acquire false identity papers, to start a new life, since he knew he was a wanted man.
He claimed a notorious photo of him, posing with armed fighters, dated to 2013, and he had taken it as a joke, a common lark at the time.
Call for trial in the United Kingdom
In February 2018 several citizens of the United Kingdom, who had been captives who endured abuse by the surviving members of "The Beatles", called for them to face prosecution in the United Kingdom.
"Freed Captives, Families of Murdered Western Hostages Demand Justice". New Delhi Times. 2018-02-10. Archived from the original on 2018-02-10.
Another member of the gang, Aine Davis, was sentenced last year in Turkey to a seven-and-a-half-year prison term. He was charged with membership in a terrorist organization, but a weightier charge of preparing acts of terrorism, which carried the possibility of a longer sentence, was dropped by Turkish prosecutors for lack of sufficient evidence.
- "Suspected British ally of Mohammed Emwazi being held in Turkey". The Guardian. 2015-11-13. Archived from the original on 2016-03-25. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
- "Exclusive: Briton accused of being Jihadi John's accomplice on trial over new IS terror plot". ITV News. 2016-07-05. Archived from the original on 2018-02-10.
- "Jihadi John associate Aine Davis jailed in Turkey on terrorism charges". The Independent. 2017-05-09. Archived from the original on 2018-02-10. Retrieved 2017-05-09.
Dominic Casciani (2014-11-13). "Woman jailed for funding Syria jihad". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
Davis, a former drug dealer with a conviction for possessing a firearm, left the UK in July 2013.
Simon Hooper (2017-05-09). "British 'Islamic State Beatle' jailed in Turkish trial". Middle East Eye. Archived from the original on 2017-08-30. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
Aine Davis is alleged to have been a close associate of Muhammed Emwazi, the IS executioner dubbed “Jihadi John,” who appeared in a series of beheading videos in 2014 and 2015. He was one of the so-called “Beatles,” a quartet of British IS militants tasked with guarding foreign prisoners in Raqqa, according to media reports and the accounts of former captives.
Kashmira Gander (2014-08-13). "British student Nawal Msaad cleared of attempting to smuggle cash to Syrian jihadists in her underwear". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
The jury was also shown a “selfie” Davis sent her, as well as videos containing jihadist propaganda. But El-Wahabi denied knowledge of any terrorist activities or their funding. In her defence, she denied Davis was in Syria, and claimed he left Britain to look for work and stop drug dealing.
Martin Chulov (2018-02-09). "The jihadist 'Beatles': Britons who became the face of Isis cruelty". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2018-02-10.
The original cell of four Britons had included Mohammed Emwazi, the brutal executioner killed by a US drone in November 2015, and Aine Lesley Davis, who was captured in Istanbul in the same month.
Danica Kirka (2018-02-10). "Ex-hostages want British kidnappers put on trial in U.K." The Courier. London. Archived from the original on 2018-02-10.
Former Islamic State hostages and families of the group’s victims are urging Britain and the United States to put two recently captured extremists on trial, arguing that denying them justice will fuel the hatred and violence they supported.