Faced with thousands of radicalized jihadis returning home to the U.K. amid ISIS’ demise in Syria, the British government has concocted a scheme to “bribe” them so that they don’t carry out more attacks.
Code-named Operation Constrain, the controversial effort to stop the terrorists from acting out once they return home involves awarding up to 20,000 extremists currently under investigation by MI5 with taxpayer-funded council homes, counseling, and help finding jobs, according to a report in the Daily Mail on Monday.
The strategy could even allow fanatics to jump to the top of council house waiting lists.
The program, which is being slammed by experts and MPs, is set to begin next year. Police and councils are hoping the Home Office will pay for it out of their £900 million counter-terrorism budget.
Terrorism expert Professor Anthony Glees of Buckingham University noted, “You can’t bribe people not to be terrorists.”
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen observed, “This sounds like a reward for being on a list of potential terrorists. You can’t buy people’s loyalty to this country.”
After a string of terrorist attacks throughout the past year, it’s clear that fanatics living in Britain are slipping through the net. For instance, Khalid Masood, 52, was a Birmingham resident who was already on MI5’s radar because they knew he was in contact with extremists. The radicalized Briton went on to launch the Westminster Bridge atrocity in March of this year. He killed five people, including a police officer, before he was shot dead.
While some Brits believe that “naïve” teenagers who ran off to join the brutal “caliphate” should be allowed to reintegrate into society, Foreign Office Minister Rory Stewart sparked a fierce debate when he recently said that most followers of ISIS’ “hateful doctrine” pose a “serious danger” to the U.K. and should be killed. (See video below.)
According to the Daily Mail report, the British government has been secretly drawing up plans for a massive increase in its efforts to turn vulnerable individuals away from terrorism.
The current program is called “Prevent.” Under this strategy, teachers, doctors, and social workers can refer people they fear may turn to extremism. The new Operation Constrain, on the other hand, will involve police and social workers contacting people already in MI5’s databases to assess what danger they pose and what it would take to integrate them into society.
“We are planning a number of pilots to explore the best way to diverting such people from terrorism and extremist activity,” one source told the Daily Mail.
So far, an estimated 360 ISIS fighters have already returned to the U.K. from Syria.
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