Families of British jihadis are plotting to smuggle them back to the UK as ‘Boris Johnson’s calls for children to be repatriated’ are sunk by his Cabinet
- UK intelligence has heard ‘chatter’ about smuggling IS members back to the UK
- Islamic State members have already been smuggled out of some of the camps
- Priti Patel has vehemently stated that Is members will not be allowed back in
British families are plotting to smuggle relatives who joined Islamic State out of Syria amid a Cabinet row over the issue, intelligence sources claim.
They say there has been ‘chatter’ among those living in the UK about how they can help suspect jihadi family members get back to Britain.
Islamic State members have already been smuggled out of camps where British citizens are held, another western security source said, adding that the ‘window of time for countries to repatriate effectively is closing very quickly’.
British families are plotting to smuggle relatives who joined Islamic State out of Syria amid a Cabinet row over the issue, intelligence sources claim. File image of Syrian camp used
It comes during a Cabinet rift over whether to fly British children back home from the camps, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson making the case for repatriation in top secret security meetings.
But Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel are against the move, with Miss Patel saying there is ‘no way’ the likes of Shamima Begum, 19, will be allowed back into Britain.
The Mail tracked former London schoolgirl Begum, who married and IS fighter, to her camp in Syria last week, from where she claimed to have changed and said she wanted to come home.
But Miss Patel told The Sun on Sunday yesterday: ‘Our job is to keep our country safe. We cannot have people who would do us harm allowed to enter our country – and that includes this woman.’
A Whitehall source said the PM had wanted to pick up 30 British children from camps in Syria, but failed to get enough support after facing a Cabinet mutiny.
He wanted to bring under-16s back, but leave their parents left in the Middle East.
The row was leaked at the weekend after the issue was discussed at a meeting of the National Security Council weeks ago. Intelligence sources claim the families of suspect jihadists have discussed bribing guards to smuggle their relatives out of Syria, although none is thought to have acted.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has dismissed the idea that British citizens that joined Islamic State might be allowed back into the country
a Cabinet rift has begun over whether to fly British children back home from the camps, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson making the case for repatriation in top secret security meetings.
But there have been reports of foreigners being smuggled out of Al Hawl camp in Syria by human traffickers. It was not clear whether they included the wives and children of British jihadis.
The Government has refused to take Britons back over fears that there would not be enough evidence to convict them in the UK.
The Home Office has instead stripped suspect jihadists of their British citizenships. Kurdish forces holding foreign fighters and their wives have urged their home nations to take them back.
There are up to 12,000 foreign women and children in the Al-Hawl camp, including Britons.
US officials have described IS as being active inside, using the camp as an incubator for the next generation of extremists. It is considered so dangerous that members of the Syrian Democratic Forces have stopped going inside.
A source said: ‘These people left London and Berlin to go to the desert to fight for an idea. They are still committed to that idea.’
Former IS recruiter begs to return home
Tooba Gondal has appealed to be allowed back into the country, despite once calling it ‘filthy’.
AN Islamic State recruiter who fled London begged to be allowed home yesterday.
Tooba Gondal, 25, a former student at Goldsmiths, University of London, travelled from Walthamstow, east London, to Syria in 2015.
From the terrorist group’s capital of Raqqa, she glorified the brutal regime and lured British girls to be ‘jihadi brides’. It is thought London schoolgirl Shamima Begum was among her recruits.
She wed three IS fighters, all of whom were killed.
As IS lost ground, Gondal – who now calls herself Umm Muthanna Al Britaniyah – was sent in April to the Ain Issa camp in northern Syria with her two young children, daughter Asiya, 18 months, and son Ibrahim, two, after trying to flee.
In a letter published by The Sunday Times yesterday, she appealed to be let back into Britain, despite once calling it a ‘filthy country’.
She said: ‘I am not a terrorist. I have never harmed you, nor do I intend to. I want to prove I am a changed person; a much better individual for society. I want to face justice in a British court. I wish to redeem myself.’
Gondal has been banned from re-entering the UK by a Home Office exclusion order. But she says her second husband – Ibrahim’s father – was British, which she believes gives her grounds to return.