Only 1 in 8 extremists are prosecuted on return to UK from Syria and Iraq – Daily Mail

8 months ago Comments Off on Only 1 in 8 extremists are prosecuted on return to UK from Syria and Iraq – Daily Mail
  • Out of 400 estimated homegrown extremists only 54 have been prosecuted
  • CPS is now in the process of taking action against 30 further people
  • Ministers and experts want Government to do more to track jihadis in UK
  • Last week UK jihadi found to be working at hospital after return from Syria

Alex Matthews For Mailonline

Britain’s border control has been slammed as a ‘shambles’ as it is revealed that only one in eight homegrown extremists are prosecuted on their return to the UK.

The Government has been criticised by ministers and security experts as Home Office figures show that out of the 400 Britons estimated to have joined terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq – just 54 have been convicted, reports the Sunday Telegraph.

Government officials have been accused of having no idea how many extremists come and go from the country, with some faking their own deaths or taking up false identities to throw the authorities off their trail.

Criticism: Britain's border control has been slammed as a 'shambles' as Home Office figures reveal that out of 400 homegrown jihadists fighting in Syria and Iraq - just 54 have been prosecuted (file photo)

Criticism: Britain’s border control has been slammed as a ‘shambles’ as Home Office figures reveal that out of 400 homegrown jihadists fighting in Syria and Iraq – just 54 have been prosecuted (file photo)

The Crown Prosecution Service is now in the process of prosecuting a further 13 cases which involve 30 people accused of terror crimes.

Figures were released by Home Office spokesman in the House of Lords, Lord Keen of Elie after a parliamentary question. 

Professor Anthony Glees, head of the University of Buckingham’s Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies, said the figures were concerning.

He told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘The hundreds of British citizens who have gone to Syria are highly dangerous; the fact so few are being prosecuted when they return is clearly very unsatisfactory and will be very alarming to many people.’

Professor Glees demanded that the British people be told why so many extremists are not behind bars and claimed that they had ‘gone off radar’ while our security forces ‘play catch up’.

Jihad: Londoner Gianluca Tomaselli, 27, (pictured) allegedly travelled to Syria in 2013 to become a fighter

Jihad: Londoner Gianluca Tomaselli, 27, (pictured) allegedly travelled to Syria in 2013 to become a fighter

Experts say there are many ways for jihadists to get in and out of the country, whether its via buses or ferry crossings, and that the government should not be lulled into a ‘false sense of security’ by the fact that we live on an island.

Khalid Mahmood, a Labour MP for the Perry Barr district in Birmingham, said not enough was being done by the Home Office.

Mr Mahmood, whose constituency has a high Muslim population, said: ‘It is a shambles. The Government is not on top of this.The real problem is we don’t know who is coming back and where they are coming back from.’

Just last week it was revealed that a British jihadi who had left his family to fight for ISIS in Syria had been working at an NHS hospital after returning to Britain.

Leaked files exposing the terror group’s network of recruits revealed that Muslim convert Gianluca Tomaselli, 27, allegedly travelled to Syria in 2013 to become a fighter.

Despite links to a jihadi faction that encouraged other so-called ‘Lions’ in the UK to take up arms in the Middle East, the father of two has been able to return from the battlefield to a comfortable life in London.

Italian-born Tomaselli, who grew up in north London, is working as a parking attendant at a hospital Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone. 

A Home Office spokesman said the Government had a ‘wide range’ of powers to disrupt travel zones and ‘manage the risk’ provided by others returning to the country.

He told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘Everyone who returns from Syria or Iraq can expect to be subject to investigation to determine if they pose a threat and they should be in no doubt we will take the strongest possible action to protect our national security.’

 

 

 

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Only 1 in 8 extremists are prosecuted on return to UK from Syria and Iraq – Daily Mail

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