British prisons ‘braced for wave of IS fighters’, says Justice Secretary
UK prisons are preparing for an influx of Islamic State fighters returning from Syria, the Justice Secretary has said.
David Gauke revealed that “a lot of work” was being done to ready institutions for a sudden increase in British jihadis.
Hundreds of Brits who joined IS to fight in Syria and Iraq are expected to return to UK shores after the terrorist group was largely defeated in the region.
In an interview with the Evening Standard, Mr Gauke said: "There is a likelihood that we are going to see people returning from the Middle East in the months ahead and many of them are going to become our problem within the prison system.
"We need to make sure that there's the proper approach to them.
"This is an issue that is going to be very significant for the criminal justice system as a whole and the prison system and is one of the big challenges that we have to face."
The Government estimates that around 850 people left the UK to fight for the terrorist group in Syria, with around 15% thought to have died in the conflict.
The Justice Secretary added that more must be done to prevent people from being radicalised in the first place.
Children should not be brought up "in an environment that leads them towards a belief in a death cult," he said.