In Brief

Should British Isis fighters be hunted and killed?

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson wants to ‘drive them out of Iraq and Syria’

Should Briton who flee to Iraq and Syrai to join Islamic State be hunted down and killed?

In what The Guardian calls “the strongest remarks yet from a senior cabinet minister”, Britain’s new defence minister, Gavin Williamson, told the Daily Mail that he advocated the targeting of British jihadists by the Armed Forces.

“A dead terrorist can’t cause any harm to Britain,” Williamson said, adding that he believes terrorists should never be allowed to return home. “We should do everything we can do to destroy and eliminate that threat.”

The minister also told the newspaper that jihadist groups in Libya, Iraq and Syria were believed to be plotting attacks on the UK, and that “our job in terms of eliminating will not stop this year, will not stop next year – it is something we have got to continue to pursue”.

Williamson’s comments were criticised by former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown, who said defence secretaries “should be measured, careful, judicious and thoughtful about what they say, not apprentice cadet versions of Donald Trump”. 

More than 800 British citizens are believed to be fighting for Isis in Iraq and Syria, including teenagers, women and young families, The Guardian reports.

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