UK to jail anyone returning from Middle East militancy engagements
A series of new laws introduced in the UK will allow authorities to lock up anyone returning from fighting missions along the ranks of Daesh Takfiri group in Syria and Iraq as well as other militant groups in the Middle east region.
The Daily Express said in a Saturday report that under the new laws, introduced this week, judges could order the arrest of anyone returning from militancy missions in Syria and other countries in the Middle East as soon as they set a foot in the UK.
The new laws come amid a heated public debate in Britain about the return of British nationals from Syria, who fought along the ranks of Daesh and other foreign-backed terrorist groups since a war broke out in the country eight years ago.
The topic gained more attention when London revoked the citizenship of Shamima Begum, a British girl who tried to return to the UK last year after joining Daesh in Syria.
In a bid to please the frightened public, UK government authorities have revoked the citizenship of scores of UK nationals for their assignments with Daesh and other groups in Syria even though some of them have expressed regret about their past actions.
The new laws allow prosecutors to jail suspected terrorists without providing any evidence against them. That comes as some 360 nationals who have returned from Syria and Iraq over the past years are now at large in the UK and authorities have nothing to prove they could be a threat to the society.
The law, which came into effect at the start of April, will put behind bars people for a maximum of 10 years for the so-called “designated area” offense, meaning that sheer presence in a blacklisted region will be enough for them to be prosecuted.
The tightening of restrictions on UK nationals returning from the Middle East comes as UK authorities have repeatedly been accused of not doing enough to prevent the nationals from traveling to war regions over the past years.
Reports in the British media have indicated that police and other security forces had ample information about radicalized people who planned to travel to Syria and Iraq but did almost nothing to prevent them.