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Author Topic: Britain Strips over 100 Islamic State Fighters of Citizenship  (Read 233 times)

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Their home countries donít want them back. Hundreds of foreign fighters who enlisted with Islamic State to fight in Syria and Iraq are being stripped of their citizenship and blocked from returning by Western governments.

Returning fighters are seen as a grim threat, the deadly legacy of a murderous movement being defeated and rolled back on the battlefield. Western intelligence officials say they are already over-stretched trying to monitor tens of thousands of suspected extremists who never left their home countries.

British officials say they have stripped more than 100 British fighters and brides of their citizenship, preventing them re-entering the country legally, according to British news reports. All those who have lost British citizenship are dual nationals. Under international law, governments canít revoke someoneís citizenship if it would render them stateless.

According to Britainís Sunday Times newspaper, 152 IS recruits have been stripped of British citizenship since 2016, 30 since March.

Of the estimated 850 Britons who joined IS or al-Qaida-linked groups in Syria, 15 percent are thought to have been killed. A handful of returnees have been jailed, but officials say many cannot be prosecuted for lack of evidence. Some are thought to have become disillusioned with jihadism, but many are thought to pose a significant terror risk.

Britain isnít alone in fearing the havoc returnees could wreak or the added burden they place on intelligence services already struggling to maintain surveillance on thousands of suspects who never left to fight. In June, following terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, British authorities admitted 23,000 radical Islamists had been considered a ďperson of interestĒ to the security services at any one time, more than six times the previous figures made public by the government.

Of those, 3,000 are considered serious threats, including about 400 people who have returned to Britain after fighting for IS in Syria and Iraq.