This site uses cookies. By accepting cookies you can optimise your browsing experience. Read more.
UK: Hundreds of British jihadists in Syria, says MI5 head01:06

UK: Hundreds of British jihadists in Syria, says MI5 head

United Kingdom, London
November 7, 2013 at 14:35 GMT +00:00 · Published

UK: Hundreds of British jihadists in Syria, says MI5 head

The number of UK citizens who have travelled to Syria to fight in the country's civil war is "in the low hundreds", according to Sir Andrew Parker, the Director of the country's internal intelligence service MI5. Sir Andrew made the statement during his evidence to a parliamentary inquiry on Thursday held by the Intelligence and Security Committee.

Sir Menzies Campbell, Lib Dem minister, asked: "What is your assessment of the impact of what one might describe as terrorist tourism? The fact that there are citizens of the UK who go abroad, acquire capabilities, and then if they come back to this country suitably motivated, have the opportunity of using what they learned abroad."

"It's grown recently and is growing at the moment because of Syria," said Sir Andrew. "Syria has become a very attractive place for people to go for that reason, people who support or sympathise with the al-Qaeda ideological message that I mentioned. We've seen low hundreds of people go to Syria for periods and come back, some large numbers still there, and get involved in fighting. This is partly because of the proximity of Syria and the ease of travel there, but also because it's attractive as what they would see as a Jihadi cause."

The parliamentary inquiry is being held in the shadow of public controversy over the reach of intelligence agencies, with journalist Glenn Greenwald's partner David Miranda launching a legal challenge in the high court related to his detention at a London airport.

UK: Hundreds of British jihadists in Syria, says MI5 head01:06
Pool for subscribers only
No Account? Sign up!
Description

UK: Hundreds of British jihadists in Syria, says MI5 head

The number of UK citizens who have travelled to Syria to fight in the country's civil war is "in the low hundreds", according to Sir Andrew Parker, the Director of the country's internal intelligence service MI5. Sir Andrew made the statement during his evidence to a parliamentary inquiry on Thursday held by the Intelligence and Security Committee.

Sir Menzies Campbell, Lib Dem minister, asked: "What is your assessment of the impact of what one might describe as terrorist tourism? The fact that there are citizens of the UK who go abroad, acquire capabilities, and then if they come back to this country suitably motivated, have the opportunity of using what they learned abroad."

"It's grown recently and is growing at the moment because of Syria," said Sir Andrew. "Syria has become a very attractive place for people to go for that reason, people who support or sympathise with the al-Qaeda ideological message that I mentioned. We've seen low hundreds of people go to Syria for periods and come back, some large numbers still there, and get involved in fighting. This is partly because of the proximity of Syria and the ease of travel there, but also because it's attractive as what they would see as a Jihadi cause."

The parliamentary inquiry is being held in the shadow of public controversy over the reach of intelligence agencies, with journalist Glenn Greenwald's partner David Miranda launching a legal challenge in the high court related to his detention at a London airport.

Top downloads in last 24 hours
01:52
Japan: Wildfires scorch 765,000 sq m as efforts to contain flames continue near AshikagaJapan: Wildfires scorch 765,000 sq m as efforts to contain flames continue near Ashikaga
February 25, 2021 at 02:18 GMT +00:00
04:32
'My Pet Alpaca' brings fluffy friends to your door to fight the pandemic blues'My Pet Alpaca' brings fluffy friends to your door to fight the pandemic blues
February 25, 2021 at 19:40 GMT +00:00
01:51
Armenia: Pashinyan holds rally with supporters after army demands his resignationArmenia: Pashinyan holds rally with supporters after army demands his resignation
February 25, 2021 at 11:15 GMT +00:00
03:03
Armenia: Protesters honk car horns, block traffic in Yerevan rally against PM Pashinyan Armenia: Protesters honk car horns, block traffic in Yerevan rally against PM Pashinyan
February 25, 2021 at 11:01 GMT +00:00
01:59
Japan: Dozens of households told to leave as wildfire spreads through Mount RyogaiJapan: Dozens of households told to leave as wildfire spreads through Mount Ryogai
February 24, 2021 at 16:23 GMT +00:00
02:35
Lebanon: Fiery rallies in Beirut after terrorism charges brought against Tripoli protestersLebanon: Fiery rallies in Beirut after terrorism charges brought against Tripoli protesters
February 24, 2021 at 19:26 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
01:39
Armenia: Pashinyan calls army’s demand for resignation ‘attempted coup’Armenia: Pashinyan calls army’s demand for resignation ‘attempted coup’
February 25, 2021 at 10:58 GMT +00:00
Pool for subscribers only
01:35
Ghana: Country becomes first to receive COVAX coronavirus vaccinesGhana: Country becomes first to receive COVAX coronavirus vaccines
February 24, 2021 at 20:04 GMT +00:00
02:56
Iraq: Police clash with protesters demanding resignation of governor in NasiyirahIraq: Police clash with protesters demanding resignation of governor in Nasiyirah
February 25, 2021 at 00:04 GMT +00:00
03:32
Spain: Elderly people vaccinated against COVID-19 attend theatre show in MadridSpain: Elderly people vaccinated against COVID-19 attend theatre show in Madrid
February 24, 2021 at 17:35 GMT +00:00
03:25
UAE: French producer Arquus unveils hybrid electric 'Scarabee' vehicle at Abu Dhabi expoUAE: French producer Arquus unveils hybrid electric 'Scarabee' vehicle at Abu Dhabi expo
February 24, 2021 at 19:19 GMT +00:00
02:47
Armenia: Protesters block traffic in Yerevan street at rally against PM PashinyanArmenia: Protesters block traffic in Yerevan street at rally against PM Pashinyan
February 23, 2021 at 23:13 GMT +00:00
02:29
Sea of cranes - birds gather at Israeli nature reserve on their way to EuropeSea of cranes - birds gather at Israeli nature reserve on their way to Europe
February 24, 2021 at 21:14 GMT +00:00
02:14
Not all heroes wear capes! Bus driver talks about saving visitors stuck in burning mallNot all heroes wear capes! Bus driver talks about saving visitors stuck in burning mall
February 24, 2021 at 21:58 GMT +00:00
05:01
Iraq: UNESCO-supervised restoration works continue in Mosul as Iraqis prepare for Pope Francis' visitIraq: UNESCO-supervised restoration works continue in Mosul as Iraqis prepare for Pope Francis' visit
February 24, 2021 at 22:32 GMT +00:00
01:42
Canada: Niagara Falls partially freezes as winter storm brings bitter coldCanada: Niagara Falls partially freezes as winter storm brings bitter cold
February 23, 2021 at 23:47 GMT +00:00
02:20
Greece: Police disperse Athens demo in support of convict Dimitris Koufontinas' hunger strikeGreece: Police disperse Athens demo in support of convict Dimitris Koufontinas' hunger strike
February 24, 2021 at 23:29 GMT +00:00
03:18
Armenia: Dozens detained at Yerevan rally against PM Pashinyan Armenia: Dozens detained at Yerevan rally against PM Pashinyan
February 23, 2021 at 13:59 GMT +00:00
02:59
Germany: Hamburg customs police seize 16 tons of cocaine in Europe's biggest haulGermany: Hamburg customs police seize 16 tons of cocaine in Europe's biggest haul
February 24, 2021 at 16:42 GMT +00:00
00:14
Canada: Home CCTV camera captures meteor as it shoots through night skyCanada: Home CCTV camera captures meteor as it shoots through night sky
February 24, 2021 at 18:18 GMT +00:00
02:29
Germany: 9 arrested for storming Greek consulate in solidarity with hunger striker Dimitris KoufontinasGermany: 9 arrested for storming Greek consulate in solidarity with hunger striker Dimitris Koufontinas
February 24, 2021 at 19:45 GMT +00:00
03:11
France: Start-up launches face mask able to 'deactivates' virusFrance: Start-up launches face mask able to 'deactivates' virus
February 25, 2021 at 10:45 GMT +00:00
01:45
Canada: Niagara Falls freezes over as cold front engulfs Ontario regionCanada: Niagara Falls freezes over as cold front engulfs Ontario region
February 25, 2021 at 15:36 GMT +00:00
View all videos