180 British Islamists Are Known to Have Been Killed in the Islamic State So Far

Islamist
OLIVER JJ LANE

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt made a speech to the United Nations Thursday, discussing counter-terrorism, the Islamic State, and the high number of British Jihadists who have been killed serving ISIS.

Speaking at the UN Security Council briefing on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, newly appointed British Foreign Secretary Hunt warned that despite having taken a beating, ISIS “has not been vanquished”.

After remarking that the Islamic State — what he calls “Daesh” — takes advantage of weak states, Hunt went on to give details on the number of people the group managed to recruit from the United Kingdom. Hunt said: “About 900 people with links to the United Kingdom have travelled to join the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

“About 40% returned to the UK in the early days of Daesh’s so-called Caliphate and some 20% are believed dead. The rest are still in Iraq, Syria or elsewhere.”

Going by the Foreign Secretary’s rough figures, these figures reveal that approximately 180 British Islamists have now been killed in service with the Islamic State.

But double that — about 360 — have already returned to the United Kingdom, and about the same again are still living and fighting abroad.

Those who have already returned to the United Kingdom will be among the 25,000 known radicals that have been identified by the security services within the country. Speaking of the figure — which stands are more than 50,000 for Europe as a whole, Gilles de Kerchove, the European Union’s Counter-Terrorism Co-ordinator said in 2017 that “of these, 3,000 are worrying for MI5, and of those 500 are under constant and special attention.”

Underlying the difficulties in identifying Islamic radicals who otherwise appear to be normal members of society but secretly harbour extremist views and may even be preparing attacks, de Kerchove highlighted ” the “increasing use of taqiyya [Islamic practice of deception] … to go unnoticed”.

It is only comparatively recently that a large number of radicals in the United Kingdom and other European nations has been openly discussed. Just months before de Kerchove’s comments the officially recognised figure in the UK was 23,000, and before then the government wouldn’t admit there were any more than 3,000.

The pretence at the lower figure was dropped after a series of terror attacks committed by Islamists, which left the government embarrassed at having failed to adequately monitor terror suspects, forcing it to admit the number of potential targets was actually far larger than previously admitted to.

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