British citizens who have headed to Syria to join the Daesh terrorist group should be killed before getting a chance to return home, says a UK government minister.
“These are people who have essentially moved away from any kind of allegiance towards the British government,” Rory Stewart, international development minister, told BBC on Sunday, noting that converts to the terror group believed in an “extremely hateful doctrine.”
“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,” he said.
The minister’s remarks came after Brett McGurk, a top US envoy for the Western coalition purportedly fighting Daesh in Iraq and Syria, said his mission was to ensure every one of the group’s foreign fighters in Syria dies in Syria.
Britain has been targeted by several Daesh-claimed terrorist attacks over the past months.
Authorities warned last year that around 850 UK nationals had traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside the terror groups that are wreaking havoc in those countries.
In early September, the European Union’s top terror official Gilles de-Kerchove warned that Britain was home to up to 25,000 Takfiri extremists who could pose a terrorist threat to the country and the rest of Europe
According to Kerchove, about 3,000 of the suspects are considered a direct threat by MI5 – Britain’s domestic counter-intelligence and security agency.
Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said in September that fear of terrorist attacks in the UK was going to stay at its second highest rate for five more years because the risk posed from terrorists was “an unknown threat in our midst.”Stewart said Sunday that there were “very difficult moral issues” to killing Brits who had joined Daesh but it was the only way to curb the threat.
“These are people who are executing people in the back of their heads, who have held women and children hostage, who are torturing and murdering, trying by violence to impose their will. Our response has to be, when somebody does that, I’m afraid, to deal with that.”