British associate of Jihadi John held in Turkey over plot to carry out copycat Paris attacks

Hammersmith-born Aine Lesley Davis arrested in Ankara along with other Isil suspects

A British associate of Jihadi John has been arrested on suspicion of plotting to carry out Paris-style attacks in Turkey, officials said last night.

Aine Lesley Davis, who was born in Hammersmith, west London, is believed to be one of several British Isil followers who guarded the foreigners that Jihadi John slaughtered.

Davis was held in Istanbul last week, shortly before the drone strike that killed Jihadi John, whose real name was Mohammed Emwazi.

Turkish officials told the Reuters news agency that Davis was detained alongside a number of other people suspected of planning an attack to coincide with those that killed 129 people in Paris on Friday.

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A former Tube driver, Davis is believed to have converted to Islam while serving a jail sentence in Britain. He had previously dabbled in petty crime and had convictions for drug-dealing and firearms possession.

The son of a dinner lady and a John Lewis shopworker, he abandoned his life in London to become a jihadist in Syria, and has posed for pictures with fighters in combat fatigues.

Last year, Davis’s wife, Amal El-Wahabi, became the first person in Britain to be convicted of funding jihadi fighters in Syria and was jailed for two years.

The court heard that she knew her husband was “engaged in violence with guns for extremist religious and ideological reasons” in Syria.

Separate to the arrest of Davis, Turkish officials said that eight people suspected of Isil links were arrested yesterday in the Turkish capital, Ankara. The detentions are the latest in what many of Turkey’s Western allies see as a belated crackdown the group as it starts to up its attacks on Turkish soil.

“Right now, the threats and attacks from Islamic State, which came once every six or seven months, are coming every one or two months. This is a very serious problem,” a senior Turkish official said.

Briton Mohammed Emwazi is believed to have killed five western hostages:

James Foley:American photojournalist (killed August 2014). Abducted while working in Syria in 2012 and the first western hostage apparently beheaded by Jihadi John
Steven Sotloff:Freelance journalist from Florida (killed September 2014). In a carbon copy of the murder of Mr Foley, Mr Sotloff was made to read a statement condemning America’s foreign policy before his decapitated body was shown on screen
David Haines:Aid agency worker from Scotland (killed September 2014). Abducted near the Atmeh refugee camp and the first Briton to be murdered at the hands of Isil jihadists
Alan Henning:Taxi driver from Salford (killed October 2014). Volunteer on a humanitarian convoy. Held for ten months before a video of his execution was released
Peter Kassig:US special forces soldier turned aid worker (killed November 2014). A video of his severed head was released without a propaganda statement from the victim
21 Syrian soldiers:(Also killed November 2014). The video confirming Peter Kessig’s death also showed the beheading of Syrian prisoners by a group led by Emwazi
Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto:Japanese security contractor and the journalist who tried to negotiate his release (both killed January 2015). Isil had demanded a $200m ransom for their release

s a figure with key responsibilities within Islamic State and he wasn’t caught alone,” the source said. “Right now, we’re investigating whether they were planning an attack in Istanbul similar to the one in Paris. We suspect there could have been a parallel attack with Paris, on the same day.”

8:54PM GMT 15 Nov 2015


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