There is a dangerous shambles going on in plain public view yet barely commented on. It is one that couldn’t be more serious, more dangerous and yet has received virtually no scrutiny whatsoever.
Of the 850 estimated diehard ISIS supporters who have gone from Britain to Syria or Iraq, around 425 are said to have returned. That’s half.
To put this into perspective, whilst over 1,900 have gone from France to support the Islamic State, far less, 271, have been allowed to return.
Germany has seen an estimated 915 jihadists go abroad to the now largely crushed Islamic State’s former strongholds in Syria and Iraq. Around 300 have returned.
In other words, Britain has seen fewer jihadists leave this country to go and support Islamic State abroad, but far more have allowed back into the country.
As it stands, the UK now has more returning ISIS jihadis in our country than any other in Europe.
We know this thanks to a report authored by Richard Barrett, a former Director of counter-terrorism at MI6, who is now at the Global Strategy Network. It is his report, ‘Beyond the Caliphate: Foreign Fighters and the Threat of Returnees’, that brings all of the numbers together in one place.
The report makes an obvious judgement call: “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.”
To have a handful of battle-hardened jihadis come back to Britain would be one thing. An argument could be made that some, in truly exceptional cases, could be genuinely turned and could be willing to hand over critical information that could help crush ISIS.
But that isn’t what’s happened here. Instead hundreds and hundreds of jihadists who hate Britain’s way of life to such a degree that they were willing to risk their lives to go and support a bunch of sadistic religious fundamentalists who abuse children, rape women and torture innocent people to death on an industrial scale have, for some reason, been allowed back into the country.
Of those who have returned we at Westmonster have tried – and failed – to find out how many, or if any, returning jihadis have been prosecuted. No one seems to be able to give a straight answer on this despite the sheer volume of ISIS returnees back in Britain.
Max do you know how many of the 425+ ISIS jihadists who have been allowed back into UK have been prosecuted? No one seems to know or wants to give a straight answer. https://t.co/yBGkomfvHz
— Michael Heaver (@Michael_Heaver) November 30, 2017
This policy of seemingly allowing ISIS soldiers to return to the country occurs at a time when Britain is already seeing hardcore jihadis kill people over and over again on our streets.
On top of that MI5 have revealed that during the last 12 months alone, 9 Islamist plots have been stopped.
The number of terrorism-related arrests has just surged to 400 in one year, a record.
Such is the large and growing scale of Islamic extremism within Britain, only one of the five jihadis who carried out the sickening attacks in London Bridge, Westminster and Manchester was under active investigation. Two had been previously investigated and the other two weren’t even on the radar.
Given that context it seems absolutely insane for the government to be adding to the threat by allowing more than 400 ISIS jihadis back into the country. Whether or not they are claiming to be reformed characters is beside the point. The security service will presumably have to track these dedicated ISIS supporters, stretching resources even more thinly, whilst we know it is a stated Islamic State objective to have fighters infiltrate Europe under the cloak of whatever excuse or method they can conjure.
The really baffling part of all of this however is what politicians in this country are saying. And not any old backbenchers, but Ministers.
One of those who has spoken out is Rory Stewart, who has briefly served as an infantry officer was also a former diplomat who went on to become a Deputy-Governor for two provinces in southern Iraq following Britain’s intervention there. So an MP with some understanding of what the hell is going on over there.
Stewart is now a Minister of State for the government and on this issue he is clear. He has said that: “I’m afraid we have to be serious about the fact these people (British citizens fighting for ISIS abroad) are a serious danger to us, and unfortunately the only way of dealing with them will be, in almost every case, to kill them.”
He has now been joined by the new Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, who insists that not only should terrorists not be allowed back into the country, but that “a dead terrorist can’t cause any harm to Britain”.
This is extraordinary stuff. Whilst Britain has allowed more returning jihadis back into the country than any other country in Europe, government Ministers are insisting that they are so dangerous they should be barred from returning and, more than that, killed.
So what is going on here? Why have around half of ISIS supporters so dedicated that they left these shores to go and support these barbaric bastards been allowed to return? How can it be that Ministers are highlighting the huge threat these people pose to our nation yet so many are back here, living amongst us, as our security services struggle to cope?
Something doesn’t add up here. I await someone asking Theresa May, directly, how this has been allowed to happen. Have the government allowed these terrorists back in – or is it the sheer incompetence of pathetically weak borders that is now putting the British public at such staggering risk?
Radical Islam has already claimed many lives here in Britain and across the world. As politicians continue to duck the issue and the threat continues to grow, there is a fatal contradiction at the heart of our government. Our political leaders are insisting jihadi terrorists should be killed. Yet so many have been allowed to return.