Terrorists trapped in the UK are a festering presence and the nation faces a greater threat from them now than it did 10 years ago today when London was bombed by Islamists.
Scotland Yard’s former counter-terror boss and head of special operations assistant commissioner Robert Quick said the present government tactic of preventing terrorists from leaving Britain merely left hardline Islamists to ‘fester’. Quick suggested a far better route would be to provide free flights to Syria for those who want to go – in return for stripping them of their citizenship. The Guardian reports his remarks, when he said:
“You have to think how do you confront it, if you have hundreds or thousands who want to go there and live that life? We should try and convince them not to go. If they want to go, you have to ask the question, are we better off, if they surrender their passports and go? It’s better than them festering away here.
“Should we say we’ll lay on charter flights to Syria; turn up with your passport and if you are over 18, if this is the life you want, then go?
“We’re in a worse place, in a more precarious place than ever. Ten years ago, we were dealing with relatively small numbers, who travelled mainly to Pakistan. They were engaged in conspiracies that were quite elaborate, involving plotting and communications that could be intercepted.
“Now we are dealing with large numbers, who have travelled to Syria – we don’t know how many will come back with horrible intent – and the homegrown extremists who are here. We are in a less safe position than we were then, because the world outside our borders is less safe than 10 years ago. There are more people who are motivated, inspired or encouraged to mount these attacks.
“Our understanding of radicalisation, what is at the heart of dissatisfaction with UK society, is very little understood”.
The national conversation about how to deal with Islamist terrorism in the United Kingdom – be it imported or ‘home grown’ has been raging in Britain for years. This is not the first time a major public figure has suggested stripping those determined to hurt Britain of their citizenship and allowing them to go to the Islamic world. UKIP leader Nigel Farage last year suggested using the Foreign Enlistment Act of 1870 to punish those who fight for the Islamic State and other Islamist groups. He said:
“…in choosing to quit the UK to fight abroad, [UK National Islamic State Fighters] have rendered themselves effectively stateless by conforming to an ideology of wanting to create a terrifying caliphate. If they choose to leave the UK they simply should not be allowed to return. Where intelligence identifies UK nationals fighting for IS their repatriation absolutely should be blocked”.
British hate-preacher Anjem Choudary, who has apparent links with many of Britain’s home-grown terrorists has repeatedly called on the home office to return his passport so he can go with his family to live in the Islamic State. Instead he remains in Britain indefinitely, free to seduce and radicalise.
Despite reportedly large numbers of experienced and ruthless killers returning to the United Kingdom from the Islamic State, and more potential killers now being at loose in society than the security services have the capability to track, the government has not yet had the courage to enact the law needed to strip enemies of the state of their citizenship.
Other countries have had more success with the measure –Breitbart London reported last week on Denmark’s recent ruling on Sam Mansour, ‘al-Qaeda’s PR man in Denmark’, who has just been convicted of his second terror offence. Having been jailed for four years for promoting terrorism, he will then be stripped of Danish citizenship and be permanently expelled.
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