Around half the estimated 700 Britons who have gone to fight with Islamic State jihadists in Syria have returned home, The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported.
The weekly broadsheet’s figures, in a story about a leaked draft of the Home Office interior ministry’s new counter-extremism strategy, go further than previous estimates, of around 500 individuals leaving and 250 returning.
Around 320 “dangerous” jihadists have come back to Britain, the newspaper said.
The new counter-extremism plan involves targeting Muslim Sharia courts, a ban on radicals working unsupervised with children, and a requirement that job centers identify welfare claimants who may become radicalization targets, the report said.
The report also surfaces just as British authorities have confirmed the identity of ISIS executioner “Jihadi John” as 26 year-old London native Mohammed Emwazi.
I still have a soft spot in my head for Blighty, though you may might say the soft spot is in my head. Not for the first time, I am reminded of Enoch Powell:
“As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see ‘the River Tiber foaming with much blood.'”
Tiber, Thames—same difference. In case you’ve forgotten:
In October 2013, MI5 Chief Andrew Parker warned “that there are several thousand Islamist extremists here who see the British public as a legitimate target.” That threat was illustrated earlier last May, when a 25-year-old British soldier was brutally beheaded by Muslims in the middle of a London street.
Indicating the level of the British threat, the CIA sent a special contingent of agents last June to investigate the extent of Islamic extremism in the UK, in a snub to British intelligence agencies.
Then, this November, two brothers became the first Britons to be jailed for terrorism training in Syria, after they had admitted conspiracy to attend a terrorism training camp in 2013.
A month later, a British mother of six who hoped one of her sons would become a jihadist was jailed for five years and three months after she used social media to encourage acts of terror in Syria.
Next time you dig into a steak and kidney pie, Nigel, ask yourself where that kidney came from. If the answer is Mosul, you might want to send it back.
PS: It is the nature of prophets to be thought cuckoo in their own time. Jeremiah, Enoch Powell, Daniel Patrick Moynihan. It’s not like others couldn’t see the germ of coming destruction; they just banished the thought from their minds. Ask the Israelites, Britons, and American black families how that worked out for them.