Max Hill, Britain’s “terror watchdog,” said that Britain is more vulnerable to terror attacks nowadays than during the “dark days of IRA.”
In Hill’s interview with the Sunday Telegraph, he said that Islamists and ISIS are targeting the UK, and this is an “ongoing risk which none of us can ignore.”
Hill is no amateur when it comes to international terrorism. From al-Qaeda to the scandal of previously prosecuted Irish republicans, Hill has been the iron man of this extremely demanding security branch.
Hill has already put to justice the copycat bombers of the 7/7 London Underground attack as well as the people behind the “Ricin Conspiracy.”
According to the Telegraph, his comments have weight in them.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd only has high praises for Hill because of his “wealth of experience and legal expertise.”
Hill has taken over David Anderson in his new role. Hill will be responsible for conducting an annual report to the Parliament on the state of British terror.
“It is possible to point to distinctions in terms of the mindset, organisation and strategy of different terrorist groups and therefore it would be wrong to draw a simple comparison between Irish republicanism and the ideology of so-called Islamic State.”
Hill has emphasized that the terror attacks may focus more on civilians, which is much more terrifying than cause-based attacks like the ones in Iraq.
Hill said that the threats during the 1970s are minute compared to what the government is tackling at the moment.
Although there are massive threats in the U.K., Hill said he would like to thank the intelligence services for doing a great job. Since the 7/7 bombings in 2015, there are very few attacks that happened in Britain.
As the threat continues to grow, Hill will have to deal with the advancement in technology. He noted that there are a few extremists fleeing Britain to fight in Syria and Iraq, where it was reported that children are being trained as soldiers.
“It’s an enormous concern that large numbers – we know this means at least hundreds of British citizens who have left this country in order to fight – are now returning or may be about to return.”
According to the Guardian, ISIS also has funded their recruitment of child refugees, paying smugglers to kidnap the children.
A report from Quilliam has already noted 88,300 children were missing and were at risk of “being radicalized.” The report added that ISIS has offered up to $2,000 to get children from Jordan and Lebanon.
“Young asylum seekers are targeted by extremist groups as they are more vulnerable to indoctrination, make able fighters and, in the case of girls, can create a new generation of recruits. This report outlines national and international requirements to reduce the risk of child-trafficking, extremism and modern slavery,” said Nikita Malik, a senior researcher at Quilliam.
Malik added that the recruitment process is far more dangerous for children unaccompanied by parents. With refugee families getting separated during travel, children are sometimes lost within the crowd. When these kids get to the recruitment camps, ISIS can possibly sway them more easily because of the lack of adult supervision.
“If the vulnerabilities of young refugees arriving at their destination are not countered by a long-term approach to integration, democratisation of national identities, and prioritisation of well-being and mental health of young people, the risk of radicalisation is likely to persist into future generations,” said Malik.
Hill acknowledges the multiple avenues of ISIS recruitment. He is also aware of the conflict in Mosul and how this can easily affect the Britain public.
Does that mean that the British public need to be immediately alarmed at a spike in terrorist activity within this country? The answer to that is, I don’t know, but it doesn’t follow as a matter of fact that those who chose to go to live or fight abroad will bring that fight back to this country.”
[Featured Image by Gokhan Sahin/Getty Images]