Tuesday, 8 September 2015
350 British Jihadists Trained in Syria Now Back in the UK and Threatening Security - Home Office
At least 350 British jihadis are back in the UK after fighting and plotting terror attacks in the ISIS - 'braincell' of Syria, the government warned today.
Spy agencies and the police are concerned about as many as 700 people from the UK who have travelled to the region since the start of the conflict, and around half have returned to Britain.
Ministers today warned that there were more jihadis in Syria orchestrating atrocities in the UK, Australia and the United States after it emerged Briton Reyaad Khan was killed in an RAF drone strike.
Around half of the 700 people from Britain who have travelled to Syria are now back in the UK and 'of concern' to security agencies.
Police and security agencies have warned of the growing threat posed to Britain from UK nationals who have joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq later returning home to wreak havoc on our streets.
In statement published today, Home Office minister James Brokenshire revealed the scale of the challenge intelligence agencies face.
'He said: 'We are aware of around 700 people from the UK who are of concern to the police and security services and who are thought to have travelled to the region since the start of the conflict.
'We estimate that around half of those have returned.'
Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday told MPs that six terror attacks on Britain have been foiled since the start of 2015.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon issued a stark warning that there are more than 'two or three' ISIS militants in Syria were still plotting 'extremely dangerous' terror attacks on the streets of Britain, targeting public events and the armed forces with the intention to kill.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'It's extremely dangerous. These are attacks are being planned against major public events on our streets, and potential attacks on members of our armed forces and others, which would be extremely dangerous. The government has a duty to deal with it.
These are attacks are being planned against major public events on our streets, and potential attacks on members of our armed forces
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon
'There's a group of people who are planning armed attacks on our streets and to disrupt major public events. Our job is to identify who they are, track them down, and if there's no other way to counter these strikes we'll take action.'
Mr Cameron stunned the House of Commons yesterday with the revelation that for the first time in modern history the UK had carried out a military strike in a foreign country outside of a war.
The Prime Minister told MPs that Khan, who is believed to have arrived in Syria in 2013, was behind murderous plots on the streets of Britain and there was 'no other means to stop him'.
The strike against him was authorised by Mr Fallon at a meeting of the National Security Council to prevent what Mr Cameron called a 'very real threat to our country'.
Two other ISIS militants, including British national Ruhul Amin, were also killed in the attack on Khan on August 21. No civilians died.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon issued a stark warning that there are more than 'two or three' ISIS militants in Syria were still plotting 'extremely dangerous' terror attacks on the streets of Britain.
'This action was absolutely legal providing it was necessary and proportionate,' he told ITV's Good Morning Britain.
'There was no other way of dealing with these particular terrorists, they weren't going to come back to this country to be prosecuted or stand trial.
'There was no other way of preventing the kind of armed attack they were involved in planning.
'Any country has the right to defend itself from an armed attack and that's what we did.'