Man jailed for eight years for funding terrorism
A man who admitted funding terrorism and possessing a firearm for terrorist purposes has been jailed for eight years.
Aine Davis, 39, originally from London, left the UK in July 2013, flying to Turkey before travelling to Syria to join the Islamic State (IS) group.
While in Syria, Davis maintained regular contact with his wife, Amal El-Wahabi, using call and messaging services on mobile-phones and the internet. He provided her with both Turkish and Syrian mobile-phone numbers.
Davis sent images to his wife which showed he had been with fighters in Syria and was not in the country for lawful purposes. WhatsApp messages recovered detailed what activity Davis was engaging in, and images of him with others, who are all in possession of firearms, were found.
Davis also instigated El-Wahabi to recruit a friend to take money to Syria on the promise of 1,000 Euros as payment.
On Thursday, January 16, 2014, police officers at Heathrow Airport stopped the woman as she was about to board a flight to Istanbul, Turkey.
She was found to be carrying 20,000 Euros in large denomination notes and there was evidence to suggest she was to be met at the airport in Turkey by either Davis or an associate. The source of the money was never identified.
The money had been raised in the UK and was destined to support a terrorism cause which Davis was pursuing in Syria.
Davis, who had already served a prison sentence in Turkey for being a member of the Islamic State group, was arrested on arrival back into the UK in August 2022, and subsequently charged.
He initially denied the charges and his legal representatives argued he should not face trial in the UK as he had already served a sentence in Turkey for the same offending.
But prosecutors argued these were different offences and the Court of Appeal ruled against Davis.
He then pleaded guilty to inviting another to provide money for terrorism purposes, entering into an arrangement of which money was made available to another for the purposes of terrorism, and possession of a firearm for terrorist purposes.
Today, at the Central Criminal Court, he was jailed for eight years.
Nick Price, Head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said: “Davis left the UK and travelled to Syria to involve himself with a proscribed terrorist organisation.
“While in Syria, he was able to call upon an associate or a network of likeminded individuals to arrange and deliver 20,000 Euros to his wife, which was due to be taken to the country.
“There is sufficient evidence through the communication between Davis and his wife to demonstrate that the money was to finance terrorism.
“Photographs and messages recovered from his wife’s phone clearly show that Davis was part of the Islamic State group and concerned in terrorist-related activity in Syria.
“It is only right he has been convicted and imprisoned in this country.”
Notes to editors
- Aine Davis, [DOB 11/02/84], is of no fixed abode
- On 16 October at the Central Criminal Court he pleaded guilty to the following charges:
- Between 13 and 16 January 2014 invited another to provide money intending that it should be used for terrorism purposes, contrary to section 15 of the Terrorism Act 2000
- Between 13 and 16 January 2014 entered into or becoming concerned with an arrangement a result of which money was to be made available to another, knowing or having reason to suspect it was to be used for the purposes of terrorism, contrary to section 17 of the Terrorism Act 2000
- Between 28 July 2013 and 16 January 2014 possessed an article, namely a firearm, in circumstances which give rise to a reasonable suspicion that his possession is for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism, contrary to section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000
- In 2014, El-Wahabi was convicted after trial of an offence contrary to section 17 of the Terrorism Act 2000 in that between 13 and 16 January she entered into or became concerned in an arrangement as a result of which money was made available or was to be made available to another, knowing or having reasonable cause to suspect that it would or may be used for the purpose of terrorism. She was sentenced to 28 months’ imprisonment. Another woman was acquitted.