Nine British Muslims who were caught trying to flee to Syria should not bother coming home as they are no longer welcome, Labour’s Simon Danczuk has said. The politician, who is standing for re-election as MP for Rochdale, said that people who are prepared to join Islamic State should not be free to return to Britain.
His comments come after nine members of the same family were arrested in Turkey last week, including Waheed Ahmend – son of a Rochdale Labour councillor.
Speaking to MailOnline, Danczuk said: “I think I speak for the vast majority of people in Rochdale in saying that this family will not be welcome back in Rochdale,” adding: “The Islamic State in Syria are carrying out sickening and barbaric acts of inhumanity and anyone who pledges their allegiance to this cruel and twisted ideology will rightly be seen as an enemy of the UK.
“Waheed and his family were apprehended trying to get into Syria and had they been allowed to cross the border then I’ve been given to believe Waheed would now be getting trained up to fight for ISIS.
“The police have to recognize this, because the idea that someone who was prepared to join a terrorist outfit like ISIS could be allowed to return to civilian life in Rochdale and carry on as though nothing has happened is unacceptable.”
He said that the number of Britons travelling to join jihadists in Iraq and Syria showed the government’s anti-terror strategy was failing. “I have spent the last few days in discussions with the Foreign Office minister, Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner, local authority leaders, religious groups and local people.
“The message coming back to me loud and clear is that while the vast majority reject this ideology of hatred, exclusion and intolerance, there are some people who are susceptible to radicalization.
“I do not think the Government’s Prevent strategy is working and we need a much smarter approach from all the authorities to stop this cancer spreading.”
The nine Rochdale family members are the biggest single group caught trying to enter Syria. The three men, two women and four children were taken to hospital last week after being arrested by Turkish authorities.
The Ahmed family settled in Rochdale in the 1980s after immigrating from Kashmir.