23 September 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron’s plans to criminalise British fighters in Iraq and Syria, and bar them from returning to Britain have come in for sharp criticism from the former chief of counter-terrorism in its intelligence services MI5 and MI6.
Mr Richard Barrett hit the nail on the head when he argued that repentant fighters, who regret taking the fateful step of joining an armed struggle in a war-torn region that has nothing to do with religion, have an importantrole to play in dissuading others from following in their footsteps.
In fact, Mr Barrett was suggesting that the young men and women, many of whom have been marginalised in British society as a result of their ethnic or religious heritage, could not only be reintegrated into society, but also help break down barriers of alienation in immigrant communities.
…James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. Farish A. Noor is associate professor at RSIS and head of the RSIS Doctoral Programme. This commentary first appeared in RSIS Commentaries.
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Last updated on 23/09/2014