Amber Rudd: Britain faces ‘serious threat’ of radicalised children returning from Syria

Posted On: 
20th December 2017

British children who spent the early part of their lives being radicalised in Isis-controlled territories before returning to the UK could pose a ‘serious threat’ to the public, Amber Rudd has warned.

Isis militants in Iraq
Balkis Press/ABACA/PA Images

The Intelligence and Security Committee’s (ISC) annual review says children born in the UK, having then grown up in the so-called ‘Caliphate’ before returning are at risk of having been “educated and inculcated by Daesh”.

In giving evidence to the committee Home Secretary Ms Rudd said: “It is absolutely a serious threat."

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She added: "Families coming back will be potentially having children who are going to be vulnerable, who are going to need protecting; but also potentially fighters themselves who could be a danger to society and could radicalise other people.”

“So we are aware of all those different issues… it is something that everybody in Europe is very aware of.”

The report also lays out its concerns about the “dispersal of foreign fighters” from Syria and Iraq, with fears over “when and where they will resurface, and with what intent”.

Chairman of the ISC, Dominic Grieve said the general threat of terrorism was “unprecedented” in terms of the number of open probes and the overall number of ‘individuals of interest'.

"MI5 have told us that it represents a pace which they have not experienced before, in particular given the increase in what is referred to as “high risk casework” (individuals who have received terrorist training or are attempting to procure the means to carry out an attack),” he said.

The security service told the Committee that, since the start of conflict in Syria in 2011, more than 850 UK-based individuals of national security concern are thought to have travelled to Syria, Iraq and the region.

They add that around half of those have returned to the UK, more than 300 are thought to remain in Syria, and around 100 have been fighting in region.