Nearly half of British citizens who travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight with ISIS have returned to the United Kingdom, with Europol warning that their training in the Middle East means they are “exceptionally dangerous”.
According to Europol’s annual report, 45 per cent of Britain’s foreign terrorist fighters have returned, the largest proportion of returned jihadists out of the whole of the EU. Germany came second with 33 per cent of its citizens who travelled to the Middle East having returned, followed by Spain and the Netherlands, both on 18 per cent.
“Those that have returned garner kudos with like-minded individuals,” the report authors write.
“Their training and experience — such as handling weapons and explosives — makes them exceptionally dangerous. Furthermore, EU Member States’ ongoing concern is that these individuals can perpetuate and strengthen their networks both nationally and internationally.”