We should po­lice UK bor­ders like Aussies


Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

IT’S wor­ry­ing that around 700 Bri­tish peo­ple have trav­elled to Syria – with many of them try­ing to join up with the mur­der­ers of Is­lamic State.

It’s dis­ap­point­ing – but ul­ti­mately, it’s up to them.

If th­ese would-be ji­hadis want to hang around with peo­ple who en­joy chop­ping peo­ple’s heads off, more fool them.

Of far more con­cern to me is the highly dis­turb­ing news that half of them have since re­turned home.

The Metropoli­tan Po­lice this week de­scribed those re­turn­ing in­di­vid­u­als as “a sig­nif­i­cant ter­ror­ism threat” – some­thing of an un­der­state­ment. This is mad­ness. If we know the num­bers, then pre­sum­ably we know the names.

And if we know the names, why aren’t we round­ing th­ese peo­ple up?

Af­ter the ter­ri­ble events of Septem­ber 11, and then the atro­cious 7/7 bomb­ings in Lon­don in 2005, haven’t we learned ANY­THING?

This just wouldn’t hap­pen else­where.

Ji­hadis want­ing to re­turn home to Australia, for ex­am­ple, have been warned they face ar­rest, pros­e­cu­tion and jail.

And that’s be­cause the Aussies don’t soft soap when it comes to their own bor­ders.

We learn also that Is­lamic State is smug­gling fighters into Europe by telling them to shave their beards and pre­tend to be Libyan refugees.

Once granted refugee sta­tus in Europe, they are then free to travel any­where within Europe’s bor­ders – in­clud­ing to the United King­dom.

This is em­phat­i­cally not to say we should be re­fus­ing refugees that come from Libya.

We ab­so­lutely should ac­cept our share.

Af­ter all, if it wasn’t for our en­tirely sham­bolic in­ter­ven­tion in that coun­try, over­throw­ing Colonel Gaddaffi with­out a plan for what would fol­low, there wouldn’t be this refugee cri­sis in the first place.

So it’s right that we of­fer refuge to peo­ple whose lives we helped mess up in the first place.

But at the same time, how do we know who is and who isn’t a GEN­UINE asy­lum seeker?

In­tel­li­gence ex­perts in Libya say Is­lamic State mil­i­tants are us­ing gangs traf­fick­ing mi­grants over the Mediter­ranean to get IS mem­bers into the West.

Th­ese in­di­vid­u­als are con­sid­ered prize op­er­a­tives be­cause they can then travel un­de­tected.

Ab­dul Ba­sit Haroun, an ad­viser to the Libyan gov­ern­ment’s in­tel­li­gence ser­vice, says some mi­grants are be­ing forced to join IS or take a seven-day course in Sharia law be­fore head­ing for Europe on traf­fick­ers’ boats.

He told BBC Ra­dio 5 Live: “They use the boats for their peo­ple who they want to send to Europe, as the Euro­pean po­lice don’t know who is from IS and who is a nor­mal refugee or not.

“The boat own­ers have a list of who to take but some peo­ple come sud­denly out of the list and they’re told, ‘Take them with you’.

“They come alone and in the boat they are not scared at all. They are for IS – 100 per cent.”

This isn’t a myth. It’s re­al­ity. And it’s hap­pen­ing right now.

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