Britain’s former anti-terrorism police chief Bob Quick has suggested the UK taxpayer stump up for chartered flights to Syria for ISIS sympathisers, stating: “It’s better than them festering away here”.
Quick, whose remarks to the Guardian included the idea of wannabe jihadis forfeiting their passports upon leaving the country, underline just how desperate Britain has become to root out home-grown extremists, and remove them from British soil.
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?”
Quick – who was one of the government’s most senior counter-terror chiefs before being fired after accidentally revealing classified documents to a photographer in the street – claimed that Britain was in a worse placed than ever before in terms of tackling the Islamist threat.
“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 home-grown extremists who are here,” he added.
“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.”