Outrage as ISIS jihadis to go to the ‘front of the queues for council houses and jobs’

Monday, October 30, 2017
By Paul Martin

COUNTER-TERRORISM experts have described Government proposals to re-intergrate extremists back into British society with offers of council homes and jobs as “mistaken” and tantamount to bribery.

Mon, Oct 30, 2017

Leaked plans for a scheme called Operation Constrain suggest putting returning jihadis at the front of the queue for social housing, and helping them into education or employment.

The project would reportedly target up to 20,000 extremists known to MI5, while Britons returning from former Islamic State strongholds in Syria would also be eligible.

The nationwide programme is due to start next year, the Mail on Sunday reported.

Whitehall said the scheme was part of the government’s commitment to “respond to the evolving threat in the most effective way we can”.

But former counter terrorism advisor Col Richard Kemp told the Telegraph: “I think it’s very much mistaken policy.

“When you look at the profile of many of the people who have been involved in terrorist attacks in the UK, or travelled overseas, they do not come from deprived backgrounds.

“If someone is inclined to be an extremist, you are not going to bribe them into not being a terrorist.”

Terrorism expert Professor Anthony Glees told the Mail: “You can’t bribe people not to be terrorists.”

Earlier this month, Max Hill QC, the UK’s independent reviewer of terrorism laws, proposed trying to re-integrate “naive” teenagers who had travelled to Syria to fight for ISIS instead of prosecuting them.

The proposals bear a similarity to Denmark’s Aarhus model, a de-radicalisation programme that offers young people at risk of being radicalised a way back into society.

They are offered mentors, psychologists, activities and workshops aimed not just at teaching young people that extremism is wrong, but also given them ways to address their anger through dialogue instead of violence.

This week, the parents of Jack Letts, a 21-year-old Muslim covert known as “Jihadi Jack”, pleaded for his to be return to Britain after he was captured by Kurdish forces in Raqqa and charged with being a member of ISIS.

John Letts and Sally Lane said their son, who has a history of mental illness, was initially treated well, but has suffered in recent months.

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