The pathetic weakness of the British position on returning jihadists has been laid out by information in a new report that shows the UK has allowed more foreign fighters back from Syria and Iraq than any other country in Europe, and most other countries in the world.
‘Beyond the Caliphate: Foreign Fighters and the Threat of Returnees’ is authored by Richard Barrett and highlights the dangers posed by jihadi fanatics across the globe.
The report makes clear that: “While returning Foreign Fighters have not as yet added significantly to the threat of terrorism around the world, the number of attacks inspired or directed by the Islamic State continues to rise. All returnees, whatever their reason for going home, will continue to pose some degree of risk.”
That’s extremely concerning for Britain given the numbers in the report. Russia has seen the highest number of foreign fighters who have gone to Syria or Iraq, 3,417, with 400 estimated to have returned.
Worryingly, whilst far fewer are estimated to have gone from the UK to Syria or Iraq to fight for ISIS, 850, the report claims around 425 have been allowed back. In other words around 50% of jihadists who have been to Syria or Iraq are now back in Britain. The only countries in the report who have allowed more foreign fighters into their country are Turkey, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
When compared with other countries the huge proportion of jihadists that Britain has allowed back grows even more alarming. 1,910 jihadists have gone from France to Syria/Iraq but only 271 have been allowed to return, whilst Germany has seen around 915 go but less than a third, around 300, have returned.
There are further examples. 280 have gone from the Netherlands but only 50 have returned and 204 have gone from Spain and just 30 have come back whilst Sweden has seen roughly 300 go abroad but again only around a third have returned compared to around half for the UK.
Britain’s terror watchdog seem to insist that some of those who have gone abroad to support ISIS are naive and aren’t even being prosecuted. Why not? Surely this is not a risk worth taking?
It is deeply troubling that the UK, which has seen less citizens go abroad to fight for ISIS than other European countries, has seen more return than the likes of France or Germany.
Why has this been allowed to happen? Who are those have been allowed to return and why are they being seemingly left free to roam the streets of Britain?