UK sentences ISIL member to eight years in prison

Aine Davis, 39, sentenced to eight years for firearms possession and fundraising for ‘terrorism’.

Militant Islamist fighters parade on military vehicles along the streets of northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. Militant Islamist fighters held a parade in Syria''s northern Raqqa province to celebr
ISIL fighters parade along the streets of Raqqa province in northern Syria on June 30, 2014 [File: Stringer via Reuters]

A British man who joined ISIL (ISIS) in Syria has been jailed for “terrorism” offences.

Aine Davis, 39, was sentenced on Monday to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to firearms possession and fundraising for “terrorism”, London’s Metropolitan Police said.

“Davis arranged for a large sum of money to be smuggled from the UK to fund the terrorist activities of Daesh – a group he had travelled to Syria to join,” Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, said in a statement.

“It has been nearly 10 years since Davis committed these crimes and I hope this case sends a message that we will relentlessly pursue and seek to prosecute anyone involved in terrorism both in the UK and abroad, no matter how much time has passed.”

ISIL gained notoriety for its gruesome methods and its recruits from around the world, including many Western countries.

Davis has been linked by captives to the ISIL cell known as the “Beatles” because of its members’ English accents.

The cell helped guard foreign prisoners in Syria and allegedly kidnapped foreign journalists and aid workers, beheading some hostages from the United States.

Davis, who was deported to the United Kingdom after being convicted of ISIL membership in Turkey, has consistently denied any involvement with the cell.

Two other members of the English-speaking cadre, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, have been given life sentences in the United States.

Speaking at London’s Old Bailey court on Monday, Judge Mark Lucraft sentenced Davis to serve six years for firearms possession and two years for terror funding.

“It is clear you have been with fighters in Syria and that you were not there for lawful purposes,” Lucraft said to Davis.

“I make it clear I am sentencing you for the offences on the indictment and for nothing else,” he added.

Davis’s lawyer Mark Summers apologised to the Syrian people on behalf of his client, saying his presence and that of the groups he associated with had “caused more harm than good” in the country.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies