Hero Bri­ton who fought ISIS grilled by de­tec­tives as he flies back to UK

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Mark Ni­col and An­drew Young

A BRI­TON who gave up his high-fly­ing City ca­reer to fight against ISIS in Syria was de­tained by anti-ter­ror po­lice af­ter re­turn­ing to the UK.

Macer Gif­ford, 30, who took part in bat­tles to lib­er­ate the ji­hadists’ strong­hold of Raqqa, was ques­tioned by de­tec­tives at Heathrow. They took DNA swabs, pho­tographed him and took his fin­ger­prints.

The Met of­fi­cers also con­fis­cated his com­puter, cam­era and mo­bile. He was ques­tioned for four hours be­fore be­ing re­leased in the early hours of Fri­day but was not ar­rested.

The treat­ment of the ex- pub­lic school­boy fol­lows the ar­rest of other UK vol­un­teers who joined rebels fight­ing ISIS. They have faced charges un­der ter­ror leg­is­la­tion and spent lengthy pe­ri­ods on po­lice bail. Their homes in the UK have also been searched by po­lice.

Their ex­pe­ri­ences have sparked claims the UK has treated them more harshly than ji­hadists who have re­turned to this coun­try. The Mail on Sun­day re­cently revealed plans to of­fer ISIS fight­ers re­turn­ing from Syria tax­payer-funded houses.

Mr Gif­ford said: ‘I was squeaky-clean be­fore go­ing to Syria to fight the ji­hadists. Now I’m be­ing treated as if I’m a threat to this coun­try. It is crazy how vol­un­teers like me have been treated.’

Mr Gif­ford, of Cam­bridge, spent three years fight­ing ISIS be­fore fi­nally mak­ing his way back to the UK via Iraq and Egypt. On his ar­rival at Heathrow on Thurs­day he sent texts to the MoS say­ing he feared he would be de­tained as a ter­ror sus­pect.

A po­lice spokesman said: ‘A 30-year-old man was stopped un­der the Ter­ror­ism Act at Heathrow. He was ques­tioned and re­leased with­out ar­rest.’

DE­TAINED: Macer Gif­ford was ques­tioned for four hours by anti-ter­ror po­lice on his ar­rival at Heathrow

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