· More than 400 former jihadi fighters are now back in Britain, security sources reported today.
· Britain is facing an increased terror attack from these battle hardened jihadi fighters now living in our communities.
· The authorities believe there is a growing risk the UK could suffer the kind of mass gun and bomb attacks seen in France and Belgium recently.
With more than 400 battle hardened jihadi fighters now back in Britain the authorities are concerned we could be facing the kind of gun and bomb attacks recently seen in France and Belgium.
With only a fraction of those returning from Syria and Iraq being prosecuted the authorities were asked why many more of these jihadists were not charged and locked up. The authorities explained they need enough evidence to put before the courts and often returning fighters go to great lengths to cover up their overseas activities
Former Scotland Yard Specialist Firearms Officer and author Tony Long said combating an attack launched by a well-trained returning jihadist could be a tough prospect.
He said: “These are combat-hardened soldiers. They might not be trained in the way that NATO might train their soldiers but they’ve seen more close quarter conflict and more urban fighting than probably most members of the British Armed Forces and you have to respect that.
“Of course they’re bringing that knowledge back with them to the UK and it’s very difficult because of the legal restrictions that are put on the security services and the police to actually monitor all of these people.”
It is a serious, two-pronged challenge for the police and security services, who are already working flat-out to counter the threat from homegrown lone-wolf extremists, like Khalid Masood, who launched last week’s deadly attack on Westminster.
Security expert Professor Tahir Abbas from the Royal United Services Institute said: “The police and security services are certainly preparing for all eventualities, because in Britain, we’ve had our lessons from the past.
“These returning fighters pose a number of threats in relation to security here.
“They’ve been through a lot of very traumatic conflict and engagement, often involved in street-to-street fighting.
Instead of the Government wasting time proselytizing for Islam and denying the link between violent jihad and Islam, the home office should be instructing the police to round up and prosecute these savages. If necessary the government could pass an emergency terrorism act which would enable the police to take these jihads into custody pending a full investigation into their whereabouts and reasons for being in Syria and Iraq.
Why were they allowed to return? They should have been killed on the battlefield.