Bri­tons with Daesh should be killed — de­fence chief

Gulf News - - Europe / United Kingdom -

Bri­tons who have joined the Daesh mil­i­tant group in Syria and Iraq should be hunted down and killed, Bri­tain’s new de­fence min­is­ter said.

Gavin Wil­liamson said that Bri­tons who had gone to Syria or Iraq to fight for Daesh hated what Bri­tain stands for, and that air strikes could be used against the es­ti­mated 270 Bri­tish cit­i­zens who are still out there.

“Quite sim­ply my view is a dead ter­ror­ist can’t cause any harm to Bri­tain,” Wil­liamson told the Daily Mail in an in­ter­view pub­lished late on Wed­nes­day.

“We should do ev­ery­thing we can do to de­stroy and elim­i­nate that threat,” he said, adding that he be­lieved any Bri­tish fighters who joined Daesh should never be al­lowed to re­turn to the United King­dom.

Wil­liamson, 41, who be­came de­fence chief last month after Michael Fal­lon re­signed over allegations of mis­con­duct, vowed that fighters who fled to other coun­tries would also be tracked and re­fused pas­sage back to Bri­tain.

No safe space

“We have got to make sure that as [they] splin­ter and as they dis­perse across Iraq and Syria and other ar­eas, we con­tinue to hunt them down,” he told the Mail. “Make sure there is no safe space for them, that they can’t go to other coun­tries preach­ing their hate, preach­ing their cult of death.”

Prom­i­nent Bri­tish mil­i­tants such as Mo­ham­mad Emwazi, known as Ji­hadi John, and Sally Jones, have been re­port­edly killed by Bri­tish or US forces since trav­el­ling to fight for Daesh.

After the death of Jones, who was known as the ‘White Widow’, Fal­lon said that Bri­tish na­tion­als who chose to leave the UK and fight for Daesh were a “le­git­i­mate tar­get”.

His in­ter­view came hours after two men ap­peared in London court charged with a plot to kill Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May.

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