Theresa May’s government has admitted that “a significant portion” of the more than 400 Islamic State fighters who have returned to Britain are at large, unpunished, having been deemed “no longer of national security concern”.
The admission came in response to a question in the House of Commons by Labour MP John Woodcock, who demanded to know why the Government is refusing to release figures on the number of returned jihadists being prosecuted, despite having previously provided them.
“Are more than 400 of those returning individuals in jail or going through the court system? We simply do not know, because the Government will not release the figures, despite repeated requests,” he told the chamber.
“There is strong demand from the public to know how many who travelled to fight foreign jihad are currently free in British communities. Those men and women are escaping justice, despite having been prepared to fight British troops in the name of a sickeningly evil cause.
“If they are not locked up or deradicalised, they are potentially able to import back to British streets brutal killing techniques learned on the battlefield.”
UK Government Plans to ‘Bribe’ Returning Islamic State Fighters with Houses and Jobs
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 30, 2017
“The refusal to update the number of prosecutions is fuelling the suspicion that in fact only a fraction of returnees are being charged because it is often too difficult to amass sufficient evidence that is admissible in an open court,” he added.
“That suspicion extends to suspected terror suspects who are deported back to the UK … They should be delivered straight into the judicial system and made to pay for their crime, but how many are?”
Speaking for Theresa May’s government, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department Victoria Atkins MP confirmed that “we know that more than 850 UK-linked individuals of national security concern travelled to engage with the Syrian conflict” and that “over 15 per cent” are presumed killed, with “just under half” thought to have returned to Britain.
She then admitted that “A significant proportion of those individuals who have already returned are assessed as no longer being of national security concern” — meaning they have not been prosecuted and are at large in the country — possibly not even under active surveillance.
Last October, Theresa May’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation Max Hill QC — who recently asserted that it was “fundamentally wrong” to link Islamic State-linked terrorists to Islam by calling them “Islamist — argued that returning jihadists should not be prosecuted because it would create a lost generation.
“[R]eally we should be looking towards reintegration and moving away from any notion that we’re going to lose a generation thanks to this travel [to Iraq and Syria],” he told the BBC.