UK ‘not a better country’ for taking back ISIS fighters

UK ‘not a better country’ for taking back ISIS fighters

Jack Letts is currently in a prison in northern Syria. Image: Sky News

Monday, June 24, 2019

The UK is “not a better country” if it allows ISIS fighters to return home, a terrorism expert has claimed.

Suspected ISIS militant Jack Letts - dubbed Jihadi Jack - wants to return to the UK having travelled from his home in Oxford to Syria in 2014, aged 18.

He has insisted that British people are "my people", telling Sky News: "I've no intention of blowing them up, that's probably important."

But Dr Paul Stott, a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham that the UK's prisons were not "short of extremists".

“We are not a better country for taking these fighters back. We are not so short of extremists that we have to scour the world’s prisons for them," he said.

Dr Stott called on the Home Office to provide “clarity” on whether ISIS fighters should be able to return to the UK.

“Now Sajid Javid’s leadership campaign is over, he can perhaps bring some clarity over this,” he added.

“He intervened quite forcefully on Shamima Begum. The preference is that this guy does not come back.”

Mr Letts' parents were spared jail on Friday after they were convicted of funding terrorism by sending their son £1,723 -  despite being told by police not to.

Organic farmer John Letts, 58, and former Oxfam fundraising officer Sally Lane, 57, walked free from court after being given suspended sentences.

The Old Bailey heard they ignored repeated warnings their son had joined Islamic State in Syria.

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