By Oliver Lane
A senior government legal adviser has rubbished the Prime Minister's
plans to prevent terror suspects who travelled to the Islamic State
from returning, saying they were not fully formed, and will never
materialise as promised.
David Anderson QC, who was selected by the Home Office to scrutinise
all counter terror law, used his privilege to savage the attempt made to
ban terrorists from re-entering the country after fighting abroad,
calling the proposed measures "an announcement waiting for a policy". Mr
Anderson told parliamentarians: "What we now have is a power that
although entitled exclusion orders, or temporary exclusion orders, I
think in reality it is much closer to managed return or controlled
The PM had promised in September to prevent British passport holders
who went abroad from being able to return to the UK, following a similar
pledge made by Australian PM Tony Abbott. This now appears to be far
from reality, as it seems in almost all cases returning terrorists will
be merely required to attend 'de-radicalisation courses' and keep in
touch with the police, reports the Daily Mail.
Remarkably, despite recent comments by a British member of parliament
that there have been as many as 2,000 British citizens who went to
fight for the Islamic State, the Government believes it will only
confiscate something in the region of 50 passports from returning
fighters a year.
The revelation will be embarrassing for David Cameron, who had sought
to assure Britain they would be protected from battle-hardened,
radicalised jihadists returning to the UK. Although the plans were
questioned by lawyers from their outset, the government decided to push
on with them.
One public figure who suggested a solution to the problem that
wouldn't require new legislation was UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who
called on the government in August to use the near-forgotten Foreign Enlistment Act of 1870.
Mr Farage said: “in choosing to quit the UK to fight abroad, [UK
National Islamic State Fighters] have rendered themselves effectively
stateless by conforming to an ideology of wanting to create a terrifying
“If they choose to leave the UK they simply should not be allowed to
return. Where intelligence identifies UK nationals fighting for IS their
repatriation absolutely should be blocked”.