Defence chief ’s kill IS fighters call attacked
Critics of Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson have said his suggestion that Islamist fighters should be hunted down and killed could put British soldiers at risk of prosecution.
Liberal Democrat defence spokesman Lord (Menzies) Campbell said the defence secretary appeared to be endorsing breaches of humanitarian law, while Labour MP and former paratrooper Dan Jarvis said his comments were “morally, legally and practically wrong” and a former Director of Public Prosecutions dismissed them as more fit for a Netflix series than government.
In an interview with a London newspaper, Mr Williamson said Britons who have fought for Islamic State should never be allowed to come back to this country. And he said those who intent on bringing “destruction, death and bloodshed” onto the streets of Britain were being “hunted” and that threat “eliminated”. He told the paper: “A dead terrorist can’t cause any harm to Britain.”
Downing Street used more measured language as it repeated the warning of Mr Williamson’s predecessor Sir Michael Fallon that Britons who fight alongside the UK’s enemies in Syria and Iraq make themselves a “legitimate target”.