MI6: 'Impossible' to track jihadists returning to UK

Jun 23, 2014

UK security services will have to prioritise who they track, says former M16 director Richard Barrett


Britain's security services cannot afford to track all of the people returning to the UK after fighting in Syria and Iraq, a former M16 director has warned.

Richard Barrett is due to release a new report that claims the Syrian war "is likely to be an incubator for a new generation of terrorists".

Following reports that there could be as many as 500 Britons fighting in Syria and Iraq, Barrett said those who represent a terror threat on their return would be a "very small" but unpredictable number.

He estimated that "possibly up to 300 people have come back to the UK" already. "If you imagine what it would cost to really look at 300 people in depth, clearly it would be completely impossible to do that, probably impossible even at a third of that number," he told the Independent on Sunday.

Barrett described the radicalisation of young Britons as "perplexing", but suggested that one reason they were heading to Syria was a lack of a sense of identity in the UK.

He told the BBC News Channel that security services would have to choose which fighters they think will pose the greatest risk and, beyond that, rely "very much on members of the community and other people expressing their concern".

Yesterday, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, head of specialist operations including counter terrorism, warned that UK police would have to deal with the threat of British fighters returning from Syria for "many years to come".

Their comments come as further evidence of the British links with jihadists in Iraq emerged over the weekend, with confirmation that Nasser Muthana, a 20-year-old from Cardiff, was one of a number of Britons who featured in a film posted online to recruit fighters.

His father, Ahmed Muthana, 57, claimed he had no idea his son had gone to Syria and thought he had gone to Shrewsbury seven months ago. Nasser's 17-year-old brother Aseel is also in Syria.

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Please, please, will somebody have the b*lls to stop them coming into this country. They are a threat to our national security, so simply remove citizenship from all those naturalised terrorists and refuse them entry back into Britain, the Home Secretary already has the power to do this.

For all those that were born here and were trying to come back into the country and were thought to be a terrorist threat to our peaceful way of life, then sorry, tough luck, stuff their "Human Rights". Stop them entering the country, all this bleating from our "so called" security services, just stop them coming in.

My family's human rights and security are more important than some of these recent immigrants who are trying to deliberately overthrow our Western, Christian and Democratic way of life.

just ban all religion, educate people that believing in gods and afterlife is pathetic, stupid and dangerous.

All Religion is Evil - if everyone was atheist we would not have these insane wars sunny v shia, catholic v prods etc... all religion is evil, it is a disease on humanity.

your christian way of life? you are as bad as they are, grow up will you, we dont live a christian way of life, we live a british way of life... you are just another disgusting religious bigot... grow up, all religion is wrong and evil.... and lets be honest, its for the stupid, people who cant or wont think for themselves. cristian way of life... what a d1ck u are

...why are you so offensive in your reply to John Clegg's quite legitimate comments?

The main thrust of John's argument is that our hand-wringing, human-rights obsessed politicians seem to be quite unwilling to adopt any effective measures that, conceivably, might just solve the security problems implicit in the return of these immature, resentful "jihadists".

Surely it is not beyond the wit of man to declare these individuals "personae non grata" and deprive them of their "nationality"? - after all, they don't really seem to appreciate the very tolerant society which they seek to destroy and which provides them with security, succour and, should they so wish, a world-admired national identity.

British Christianity is, essentially, a rather laid back "religion" and by so being it tends to tolerate other religions to a far greater extent than, for example, Islam - especially in the latter's most brutal, intolerant and extreme forms that seem to be prevalent today.

Thanks, Chris.

Yes, these Christians are real religious bigots. They teach their own children to be suicide bombers and want to wipe out all Jews and Moslems and every other infidel. Why can't they be like Moslems who preach "Love they neighbour", "Do unto others as you'd be done by" and "love your neighbour as yourself"?
They can't even debate logically but revert to childish emotionalism and rudeness, calling those who disagree with them stupid and unable to think for themselves--and even d1cks!
These Christians remind me of a correspondent on here who cannot write grammaticlly or spell and punctuate properly. I guess he must be one of those stupid Christians.

I see you are a discerning man. Ah, if only everyone was an atheist. Dead right! Why can't we have more Stalins, Maos, Pol Pots and Castros, etc., who were really tolerant men? Okay so Stalin murdered more than twice the amount Hitler did but, hey, at least he wasn't pathetic, stupid and dangerous, like Christians.
Pardon my sarcasm. But for one who considers himself to be so discerning, it is odd that you cannot tell the difference between facts, selected facts, and evidence. You have selected yours without even giving evidence. It also strikes me that you cannot tell the difference between all of those things and actual proof.
Your comments, without a single exception, are ad hominems and straw men. They are mere emotional opinions and that's all they can be and it is why you can only deal in ad hominems.
Unlike John Clegg, Chris Sellers and myself, I notice you do not put your name to you writings. I don't blame you. If I argued like you, I wouldn't either.
Maybe by the time you're eighteen you'll have matured and learnt to debate with a bit of logic. If you plan to go to university, don't study history or philosophy unless you do learn some logic. Otherwise you would fail your exams and be put out of any forum till you learn to grow up. Failing that, you could go into politics or the BBC where you would likely do very well.

I'm sure he'll grow up by the time he's eighteen, Chris.

It's scary how kids cannot think logically these days.That's the real reason why they are so intolerant and accuse everyone else of intolerance. They believe everything the BBC propagates.
Back in my hippy days of the late sixties, we would never have believed that a future generation could rant and be convinced they were debating.
It's like a replay of the HItler Youth movement.
Dare stand up to intolerance and you're deemed intolerant.
Alf Garnet eat your heart out!

...Martin - he could probably go into politics - not much thought process, logic or intellect required - just an absolute belief that he is always right, coupled with sheer arrogance.