British jihadists want to come home, say they made ‘mistake’
British jihadist fighters have contacted a university in London to say they regret their decision to join Islamist extremists in the Middle East.
The jihadists, thought to be a 30-strong group, said they wanted to return home to Britain but were afraid they would be jailed if they did so.
They also complained about feeling ‘disillusioned’ over the last two weeks. It was unclear whether this related to the recent beheadings of two American journalists.
Some who travelled to fight against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime are instead being forced to get involved in in-fighting among rebel groups.
One fighter, who claimed to represent the group, said: ‘It’s not what we came for but if we go back (to Britain) we will go to jail. Right now, we are being forced to fight – what option do we have?’
Professor Peter Neumann of King’s College, who spoke to the former jihadist, said the British extremists want to quit but feel trapped by Britain’s hardline stance.
Prof Neumann said the Government should set up a ‘deradicalisation programme’ for ormer jihadis wanting to return to the UK.
Prof Neumann, who works at the university’s International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence said: ‘The people we have been talking to … want to quit but feel trapped because all the Government is talking about is locking them up for 30 years.’
Prof Neumann told the Times he believed as many as a fifth of British fighters could be trying to find a way out of their current situation.
He said if the correct approach was taken towards less-hardened jihadists who wanted to come back, they could become important figures to show potential fighters that the reality of battle may not match the image presented by IS propaganda.
Posted on September 9, 2014, in NEWS and tagged afraid, article, bashar assad, british, come, fight, group, Home, isis, jailed, jihad, jihadists, mistake, news, regime, say, want. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.