Thursday 26 March 2015

MPs warn on growing numbers of British jihadists

Not enough is being done to prevent people leaving the UK to join Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a group of MPs has warned.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said Britain must win their "hearts and minds".
The committee's report comes as the BBC launches a database tracking British jihadists in Syria and Iraq.
It shows that many people left in clusters from certain UK areas - often due to friendships and peer groups.
The MPs' report argued that preventative work with communities, families and international partners was "vital" and needs to be a top priority for the Home Office.

'Relentless battle'

"The number of cases being brought to public attention should ring alarm bells," said Labour MP Mr Vaz.
"This must be a relentless battle for hearts and minds, and without a strong counter-narrative we are in danger of failing to prevent even more departures. We are at the edge of a cliff."
The BBC has been tracking the stories of the men, women, boys and girls who have gone to Syria and Iraq to understand why they go, where they go from and what happens to them.
By analysing around 160 profiles, it reveals the way in which people have travelled in clusters - a group of three young friends from Coventry, another group from Portsmouth, drawn out by one person they knew, others in Cardiff linked to people involved in an extremist organisation.
Social media might play a part but face-to-face contact appears just as, if not more, important, according to the database.

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