The trial of an alleged member of the "Beatles", a cell of the Islamic State jihadist group which specialized in the torture and execution of Western hostages in Syria, will open on Monday in London.
Aine Davis, 39, is being prosecuted for terrorist activity financing offenses dating back to 2014 and possession of a firearm dating back to 2013-2014 “
for purposes related to terrorism
Active in Syria between 2012 and 2015, the four members of the "
", who grew up and became radicalized in London, are accused of having supervised the detention of at least 27 journalists and humanitarian workers from the United States, the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Japan, New Zealand and Russia.
The nickname "
" had been given by Western hostages to this group of jihadists with a British accent.
This group had gained a sinister notoriety by staging the execution of captives in unbearable propaganda videos.
Arrested in Turkey in November 2015, Aine Davis was detained there after being sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for terrorist offenses by a local court, in particular for participating in a banned organization.
Released, he was deported and arrested last August upon his arrival in London.
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According to the prosecution, after trips to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, he traveled to Syria in 2013 via Turkey.
The most famous of the group, the British Mohamed Emwazi, alias "
", was killed by an American drone in Syria in 2015. He appeared in multiple videos of the throat.
Two other members of the group, El Shafee el-Sheikh and Alexanda Kotey were sentenced to life imprisonment last year by the American courts after being arrested by Syrian Kurdish forces in 2018. In April 2022, El Shafee el- Sheikh was found guilty for his role in the deaths of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller, also Americans.
At the trial of El Shafee el-Sheikh, ten former European and Syrian hostages, including former French journalist Nicolas Hénin, described the atrocities suffered at the hands of the "Beatles", such as simulated drowning, electric shocks
simulacra of execution.
In 2014, Aine Davis' wife, Amal El-Wahabi, became the first person in the UK to be convicted of funding IS jihadists by trying to send 20,000 euros to her husband in Syria.
During her trial, after which she was imprisoned for 28 months, her husband was portrayed as a drug trafficker before he left for Syria.