Coffee House

The Security Services have lost track of 1 in 4 of those who’ve gone to fight in Syria

20 June 2014

12:00 PM

20 June 2014

12:00 PM

We have just had a second intelligence failure on Iraq. The speed and extent of ISIS’s sweep into the country took the UK governnment by surprise. Whitehall was not alone in this. As I reveal in the magazine this week, when representatives of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff came to London recently, Iraq was way down their agenda.

What makes this intelligence failure so worrying is that we are relying on the security services to keep track of the 400-odd Britons who have gone to fight with ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Senior government figures believe that of those who have gone to Syria and then returned to the UK, the authorities have lost track of one in four of them. This reveals the sheer scale of the domestic threat that we face.

One of the major security challenges for Britain over the next few years will be how to keep track of these radicalised and, now experienced, individuals. The danger is, as the IRA used to boast, that they only need to get lucky once.

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Show comments
  • Jabez Foodbotham

    I suppose it will take a few successful and bloody outrages by returnees to get effective actions initiated. They will probably oblige.

  • Jayson Carmichael

    Some will be fighting a dictator in Syria on behalf of free Syria army

  • Hexhamgeezer

    When those naughty boys return they will get such a talking to from the ‘vast majority’ of peaceful mu$l!m$ who will leave them in no doubt about how they have distorted the teachings of the ‘Religion of Peace’. Indeed I strongly suspect that friends and families have already alerted the authorities so they can be dealt with on return.

    PS. The above text ‘has nothing to do with !$lam’

    • Kennybhoy

      “Indeed I strongly suspect that friends and families have already alerted the authorities so they can be dealt with on return.”

      Further to tvg’s wise words above, you might actually be surprised on this score man…

    • Sam

      Yes, let’s all be grateful for that ‘vast majority’ eh? We can all rest peaceful in our beds at night knowing they’ll sort out those poor deluded souls when they get back – & get them into productive work

  • berosos_bubos

    Well track them through the social services instead then.

  • fathomwest

    Isn’t it good of SkyNews to play and play the recruiting video of this ISIS. They are as bad as the BBC and Channel 4 news lot nowadays. Anyone know who their News Editor is and political leanings??

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Maybe that’s the point.

      Put out the cheese and let the rats congregate for easy extermination.

      You’d like to think there’s a long game in the background somewhere, of some beneficial use.

      • MirthaTidville

        Indeed, if we know where the rats are congregating, I`m sure Assad`s Rentokil Division could solve the problem..As you say Viceroy a long game in the playing

      • Kennybhoy

        Sound.

  • swatnan

    There is absolutely no doubt that many will become radicalised and sent back as sleepers of the islamofacists. That why returnees should be watched carefully, and interned. Ideally they should not have been allowed out in the first place. Becoming a suicide bomber is not my idea of charitable work.

  • In2minds

    “the 400-odd Britons who have gone to fight with ISIS in Syria and Iraq” –
    But look on the bright side, at least they are not teaching in East Birmingham schools?

    • Advocatus_Diaboli_69

      They’ll be guest speakers next term

      • Kennybhoy

        lol

  • Jez

    Inverse proportionally.

    As one group chip away at the core of what is left as a society here, then the potential for blowback is increases exponentially.

    Or as the scientific term goes; ‘The chickens have come home to roost’ it seems.

  • Blindsideflanker

    Why were they allowed back in in the first place?

    And if they were allowed in why weren’t they charged with war crimes offences of belonging to ISIS?

    It should be made very clear that anyone gone to fight in Syria or Iraq will be considered to have joined an organisation that has committed war crimes and human rights abuses, and even if they claim to have not done it themselves, they will be considered to be partners in the organisation’s act as a joint enterprise.

    • Advocatus_Diaboli_69

      Why were they allowed back in in the first place?

      Because their girlfriends/cats might get lonely. ECHR says so.

  • The Bellman

    It reveals the sheer scale of the threat only if the numbers of returnees can be established. Otherwise ‘1 in 4’ is just a ratio. It could mean one person, ten, a hundred. Even then it doesn’t quantify actual intent, still less capability.

  • Hello

    “One of the major security challenges for Britain over the next few years will be how to keep track of these radicalised and, now experienced, individuals”

    Fortunately, in the case of suicide bombers, experience counts for less than you might think.

    • Hello

      You know, Hello, you’re a very witty chap.

      • Hello

        Why, thank you.

        • telemachus

          I I just thought you needed another voice in this cascade of narcissism

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …and you’ve added to it with a deluge.

    • fathomwest

      Over thirty years ago I attended conferences in which the greatest threat to Western Countries was Muslim fundamentalism. So what have our politicians done? Flooded the country with people sympathetic to those people.
      Perhaps Fraser Nelson could do an article on the dangers facing us?

      • berosos_bubos

        What you mean from the inside ?

  • Colonel Mustard

    Uh oh.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …you’re starting to scare me with these “uh oh’s”.

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