The U.K. been labeled as the next target for ISIS, according to security experts. It has been estimated that 800 citizens from the United Kingdom have traveled to Syria in order to join and train with ISIS. A defence review completed last month claims that at least half of those 800 are now back on U.K. soil. Security agencies across Europe are claiming that they have “specific intelligence” that the U.K. is next on the hit list of ISIS.
Paul Cruickshank, a terrorism analyst for CNN, spoke with an anonymous European intelligence official.
“The intelligence suggests that British ISIS operatives in Syria and Iraq are being tasked to return to the UK to launch an attack against the United Kingdom. They are treating this very, very seriously indeed’ but said ‘it is not clear how imminent this threat is.”
Just the other day, the United Kingdom voted to begin to launch airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. They did not waste any time since the strikes began just hours after the vote was completed. The U.K. planes targeted oil fields being run by ISIS. By targeting the oil fields, they are damaging the ability of ISIS to generate money through the sale of oil on the black market.
The U.K. is not a stranger to being a target of terrorism. During the vote to decide on whether or not the U.K was going to target ISIS in Syria, it was revealed that seven terrorist plots were thwarted in the past year. It also was revealed that planning is currently underway in Syria for future attacks using the British citizens that have pledged their allegiance to ISIS.
One of the most infamous British defector to ISIS was Mohammed Emwazi (AKA Jihadi John). Emwazi was shown on multiple videos produced by ISIS in which he would behead hostages that were captured by the terrorist group. Emwazi was believed to have been killed by a United States drone strike in mid-November. Aine Davies, a man believed to have been associated with Emwazi, was recently arrested in Turkey on his way back home to the U.K. Davies is thought to have held a position as an ISIS prison guard in Syria. When he was arrested in Turkey, officials there claimed that “he was on his way back to Europe with attack plans from the ISIS leadership in Syria and Iraq.”
— Andrew Wiggin (@WigginAndrew) November 25, 2015
Suraj Lakhani, an expert in radicalization and violent extremism at Sussex University, commented on his concern of British extremists taking advantage of and radicalizing young British Muslims.
“There is always going to be a fear and a risk that this radicalisation we are seeing is happening within the UK. We know that 750 to 1,000 British Muslims have gone to fight with ISIS and that some of them have come back. The reality is that there is a high terror alert and there is a threat it’s (Paris Attacks) something that could happen in the UK.”
The U.K., along with Europe, are on a heightened alert of security. Terror attacks across the region have the entire continent on edge, trying to thwart the next ISIS attack before it results in more European lives lost.
Do you agree with the assessment that the U.K is the next target of ISIS? What should the U.K. do to stop British citizens from coming back from training with ISIS in Syria?
Related Articles:Islamic State Defections: United States Intelligence States ISIS Fighters Are Starting To Defect Due To Death Toll Of Airstrikes, ISIS: Understanding The Psychology Of The Terrorist Network, Will It Bring About Their End Of The World Prophecy? [Video], Syrian War Drug: What Effects Does This Drug Have On Fighters In Syria? [Video]
[Image via AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth]