U.K. to Rehabilitate ex-ISIS Fighters With 'Good Intentions'

Former foreign secretary says reformed jihadists could dissuade others from fighting in Iraq and Syria.

new-hdc-logo
Haaretz
Islamic State fighters in Syria.
Islamic State fighters in Syria.Credit: AP
new-hdc-logo
Haaretz

If jihadists returning from Iraq and Syria "have good intentions" about preventing others from fighting overseas, the British government will help them recover, Conservative politician William Hague said.

Hague, the former foreign secretary, told a BBC interviewer that returning fighters who have renounced jihad “just need help because they will have been through an extremely traumatic period” fighting overseas.

He also said that those fighters who come home disillusioned with jihad could be used to dissuade others from going to Iraq and Syria.

“We haven’t had a lot of people coming back yet and saying they want to be of assistance, but if they do of course the government, the police, the National Health Service will work with those people and help them to recover and to assist others,” he said, according to British media.

“Our top priority has to be the security of the people of this country and that is why we will take action. Where we think people could be dangerous, we confiscate passports," he said.

Hague noted there have been more than 200 arrests this year related to Britons going to Iraq and Syria.

“But the Home Office and the police and the NHS are also working together on what we can do to assist those people who do come back with good intentions," Hague said. "Of course, we will have to be sure that they do have good intentions.”

Initially the British government had considered banning jihadists from returning home, but shelved that idea after determining it would be illegal.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

$1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

A family grieves outside the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Wednesday.

Israeli PM Offers Condolences After Texas Gunman Kills 21 at Elementary School

U.S. President Joe Biden, this week.

Biden Decides to Keep Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Terror List, Says Report

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

Progressive Jews Urge ADL Chief to Apologize for Calling Out Democratic Activist

Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders with Jessica Cisneros in San Antonio last week.

It’s AIPAC vs. Bernie Sanders in Too-close-to-call Texas Democratic Runoff

U.S. President Joe Biden. Making a historic pivot to Asia.

Biden Does What His Three Predecessors Talked About Yet Failed to Do

Meir Kahane addressing his followers during a demonstration in Jerusalem, in 1984.

Why the U.S. Removed Kahane Chai From Terrorist Blacklist