MI6 Chief: ISIS Terrorists Can't Be Stopped From Returning to UK, Despite Threat
UK Secret Intelligence Service says country is powerless to stop returning terrorists
The head of British intelligence MI6 has said there United Kingdom cannot stop ISIS fighters returning to Britain even though they are 'potentially very dangerous.'
Secret Intelligence Service chief Alex Younger said that returning ISIS militants had obtained 'skills and connections' which make them a massive threat to the country.
The remarks come following a heated debate over ISIS bride Shamima Begum, whose family have pleaded with Britain to let her return after she fled to join the terrorist group in 2015.
Begum became an ISIS bride in Syria after running away from home with friends Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultanta.
British Home Secretary Sajid Javid has said he would block Begum from re-entering Britain.
Trump's pullout from Syria and defeat of ISIS is now reaching its final stages causing thousands of people to flee the terror group, inclduing many from the UK.
Mr. Younger did not comment on the details of Begum's case but warned that returning fighters were an 'extremely complex and difficult problem,' according to a report from the Evening Standard.
'Public safety is the first thing that we will consider,' he said at the Munich Security Conference.
'It follows from that that anyone who has put themselves in this situation can expect to be questioned and investigated and potentially prosecuted if they return to our jurisdiction.
'We are very concerned about this because all experience tells us that once someone has put themselves in that sort of position, they are likely to have acquired the skills and connections that make them potentially very dangerous.
'The reality is that so far, it has been a completely manageable problem.
'I can't predict accurately what will happen in future, but it's a very complex environment.'
He said that ISIS fighters who were British nationals had the right to return.
But Counter Terrorism Policing, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, insisted that British nationals who want to return can expect to be investigated, and anyone granted re-entry will be forced to live under severe limitations.
According to a report from the Daily Mail, he said: 'The threat posed by UK nationals seeking to return from Syria or Iraq is something we have planned for and have been managing.
'Together with our intelligence partners, we have been using a wide range of measures and powers available to us to mitigate this threat.'
Mr. Basu added: 'Anyone who returns from Syria or other conflict zones, having gone in support of any proscribed terrorist group - whether that's fighting for or against Daesh - or for any other illegal purposes, can expect to be investigated by the police.
'Any investigation is carried out with an open mind and based on the evidence available. This is to determine if individuals have committed any terrorist or other criminal offenses, regardless of their motivation, and to ensure that they do not pose a danger to the public or the UK's national security.
'There can be no hope of repatriation without these investigations taking place, and anyone who does return to the UK from conflict zones can, at best, expect to live under stringent limitations set out in the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIM) Act.
'We as a society must learn that we can stop this from happening in the first place by trusting our Prevent strategy, reporting our concerns early and stopping people being radicalized, investigated and, most likely, criminalized by the poisonous rhetoric spewed by terrorist organizations of any ideology.'
Sajid Javid vowed he would 'not hesitate' to prevent British ISIS fighters who were 'full of hate for our country.'
Mr. Younger said ISIS has grown and is proving 'adept at inspiring at attacks rather than directing them,' he said.
'Al Qaeda, which has always been in a rivalry, and almost zero-sum relationship with Daesh, has, I think, undergone a certain resurgence as a result of the degradation of Daesh. It is definitely not down and out.'
Yesterday we reported British jihadis might be sent to Guantanamo Bay as the UK's 'soft touch.'
The UK offers terrorists returning from Syria rehabilitation programmes instead of legal consequences, US officials say.
There is now a growing conclusion the UK is avoiding its responsibility to punish extremist converts who have joined ISIS, according to The Times.
But now the two surviving members of the British terrorist group known as 'The Beatles,' El Shafee ElSheikh and Alexanda Kotey, could now face punishment in America.