Britons with Daesh should be killed — defence chief
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.