A top UK official told the BBC last week that ISIS terrorists from the UK returning from Syria and Iraq will not be prosecuted. Instead, the government will try to reintegrate them back into society because they were “naive” when they joined the genocidal terrorist group.
This came just two days after the chief of the UK’s MI5 spy service gave a rare speech warning that the terrorism threat was higher than he had ever seen.
Maybe, just maybe, these two statements are related.
Just yesterday, one government minister suggested that the best way to deal with returning ISIS terrorists would be to kill them. And it has been just over a month since an Iraqi refugee attempted to detonate an IED on a London subway, injuring 30 — a refugee who was already part of the UK’s “deradicalization” program.
The “no prosecution” policy statement for ISIS terrorists was made by Max Hill, the UK government’s new independent reviewer of terrorism legislation. Hill told the BBC last Thursday:
We are told we do have a significant number already back in this country who have previously gone to Iraq and Syria.
That means that the authorities have looked at them and looked at them hard and have decided that they do not justify prosecution and really we should be looking at reintegration and moving away from any notion that we are going to lose a generation from this travel.
It’s not a decision that MI5 and others will have taken lightly. They, I am sure, will have looked intensely at each individual on return.
But they have left space, and I think they are right to do so, for those who travelled, but who travelled out of a sense of naivety, possibly with some brainwashing along the way, possibly in their mid-teens and who return in a sense of utter disillusionment. We have to leave space for those individuals to be diverted away from the criminal courts.
About 850 jihadists are believed to have left the UK to travel to Syria and Iraq in recent years, with more than 400 already having returned. In terms of raw numbers, this is second only to France:
— AFP news agency (@AFP) June 16, 2017
When London Mayor Sadiq Khan was asked just days after the Borough Market terror attack last June about where these 400 returned terrorists were and if they were all being watched, he had no answers:
How are we letting trained jihadis back into the UK without knowing where they are? Sadiq Khan grilled by Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan pic.twitter.com/G7yGWE5mkV
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) June 6, 2017
In addition to the attempted London subway IED attack last month, the UK has seen the suicide bombing of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, and two ramming/stabbing attacks in London this year.
Hill’s announcement that the UK government won’t be prosecuting ISIS terrorists came just two days after MI5 spy chief Andrew Parker gave a rare speech — where he said that the terror tempo was now the highest he’s seen in his 34-year career:
“The threat is more diverse than I have ever known: plots developed here in the UK, but plots directed from overseas as well, plots online, complex scheming and also crude stabbings, lengthy planning but also spontaneous attacks,” said Parker.
“Attacks can sometimes accelerate from inception, through planning, to action in just a handful of days,” he said in a speech in central London. The director general of MI5 rarely gives public speeches. The last was in 2015.
Parker said that in the past four years the UK has disrupted 20 Islamist terror plots, with seven disrupted just this year. He added that there are now 500 active investigations targeting 3,000 terror suspects.
After the Manchester suicide bombing in May, UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd admitted that there are 23,000 jihadists living in the UK:
— The Times (@thetimes) May 27, 2017
But as I reported here at PJ Media, one former senior UK counterterrorism official admitted that number was likely “the tip of the iceberg”:
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) June 26, 2017
This situation makes the announced “no prosecution” policy for returning ISIS terrorists — inserting trained and hardened terrorists into a massive pool of ideological supporters — seem highly dangerous. British historian Tom Holland took strong issue with the policy, saying it encouraged future genocides:
We have scotch'd the snake, not kill'd it. The ideology that inspired ISIS to kill & enslave the Yazidis cannot be appeased or ignored.
— Tom Holland (@holland_tom) October 22, 2017
Not to punish UK citizens who were complicit in genocide would be to signal that we did not, as a society, care what happened to the Yazidis
— Tom Holland (@holland_tom) October 22, 2017
Conservative MP Rory Stewart, who serves as a minister in PM Theresa May’s government, says the best way to deal with these ISIS terrorists is to kill them before they return home:
These are people who have essentially moved away from any kind of allegiance towards the British Government.
They are absolutely dedicated, as members of the Islamic State, towards the creation of a caliphate, they believe in an extremely hateful doctrine which involves killing themselves, killing others and trying to use violence and brutality to create an eighth century, or seventh century, state.
So I’m afraid we have to be serious about the fact these people are a serious danger to us, and unfortunately the only way of dealing with them will be, in almost every case, to kill them.
This in fact is the policy of France, which has actively targeted ISIS terrorists from that country with a special unit charged with killing them to prevent their return:
France is ‘hunting down its citizens who joined Isis’ without trial in Iraq https://t.co/6oPH9ydlES
— The Independent (@Independent) May 30, 2017
Given what UK officials openly admit about the scope of their terrorist threat at home, what is driving their “no prosecution” policy? And how long will it be before this insane policy literally blows up in their face?