Government officials are concerned that Islamic State supporters are abusing the United Kingdom welfare system to fund terror attacks. Investigations by officials show that hundreds of Brits are believed to have traveled abroad to fight for ISIS. Many of these individuals are believed to still be claiming taxpayer-funded benefits. This means that British taxpayers may be helping fund the Islamic State’s attacks.
The Daily Mail reports that government officials believe the ISIS-supporters are deliberately abusing the system to gain access to as many funds as possible. The “high-level” frauds may have been paid to the Islamic State fighters for the past three years. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) Fraud and Error Service has launched an investigation into the matter and say that people in Iraq and Syria have been able to successfully pocket UK benefit money despite laws against payouts to citizens living in those countries.
Detective Chief Superintendent Terri Nicholson, the assistant commander at the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism command unit, says he is “certain” that the Islamic State is utilizing UK benefit money to fund their terrorist activities. Nicholson says the fraud runs deep and involves online transactions as well as student loan abuse.
“We are seeing a diverse fraud, including substantial fraud online, abuse of the benefits system, abuse of student loans, in order to fund terrorism.”
Though the government has not yet released specific information on the alleged illegal activities regarding the use of welfare money for terrorist funding, it was confirmed that an investigation into the matter was open.
“We can confirm that investigations have been carried out into claimants/customers fraudulently claiming benefits whilst allegedly living in Syria or Iraq.”
According to the Assyrian International News Agency, many people are outraged at the idea that their tax money could be utilized by the terrorist group to carry out attacks. Professor Anthony Glees, an intelligence analyst in the UK, notes that the whole ordeal is “outrageous” and “nauseating.”
“The fact that taxes gained via hard-working families across the UK is going to these sadistic killers is nauseating.”
Similarly, the Inquisitr previously reported that the Islamic State may be using Bitcoin to move money for training, weapons, and recruitment purposes.
Government officials note that if anyone is found to have committed fraud in order to secure welfare benefits for the terrorist group, they will be prosecuted when they return to the region.
What do you think the United Kingdom should do to ensure taxpayer money isn’t being used to fund terrorist activities in the Middle East?
[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Gokhan Sahin]