Tag Archives: UK

Vladimir #Putin is ‘dragging West towards new Cold #War with illegal invasion of #Ukraine


David Cameron spoke out as Nato said Russia had sent 1,000 heavily armed troops to join separatists in a “significant escalation” in “military interference”.

By James Lyons.Prisoners: A group of Russian servicemen detained by Ukrainian authorities.Prisoners: A group of Russian servicemen detained by Ukrainian authorities.

David Cameron has accused Vladimir Putin of provoking the West with an illegal invasion of Ukraine.

He spoke out as Nato said Russia had sent 1,000 heavily armed troops to join separatists in a “significant escalation” in “military interference”.

One No10 insider said Russian president Putin had dragged the world “back to the Cold War”.

British troops are expected to start ­exercises in Poland for a US-led show of force to reassure Eastern European Nato countries.

And Mr Cameron will also push for fresh sanctions against Russia at an European Union meeting in Brussels on Saturday.

Loggerheads: David Cameron and Vladimir PutinLoggerheads: David Cameron and Vladimir Putin.

The Prime Minister said: “I’m extremely concerned by mounting evidence Russian troops have made large-scale incursions into South-Eastern Ukraine, completely ­disregarding the sovereignty of a neighbour.”

He also urged fellow leaders not to be fooled by Putin’s decision to take part in talks with Ukraine in Belarus.

Mr Cameron continued: “It is simply not enough to engage in talks in Minsk, while Russian tanks roll over the border into Ukraine.

“Such activity must cease immediately.”

But rebel leader ­Alexander ­Zakharchenko bizarrely insisted the Kremlin forces were on leave.

Shelled: Workers try to repair the gate of a bakery damaged during shellingShelled: Workers try to repair the gate of a bakery damaged during shelling.

He declared: “Among us are fighting, serving soldiers who would rather take their vacation, not on a beach, but with us, among brothers, who are fighting for their freedom.”

The UN ­Security Council held an emergency session to discuss the crisis.

But as Russia has a permanent seat, there was no prospect of the invasion being condemned.

Meanwhile, 15 civilians were killed as Ukraine troops shelled Donetsk, it was reported.

Today, Vladimir Putin snubbed a traditional greeting of bread and salt on his visit to Minsk because he feared assassination by poisoning, sources claimed.


Mirror Online.

Kyiv Post: Britain, US must now act on nuclear weapons assurances given to Ukraine #BudapestMemorandum


Andy Hunder.Budapest Memorandum

Two decades ago, Ukraine was the world’s third largest nuclear superpower. The East European nation inherited a nuclear arsenal bigger than that of the United Kingdom, China and France combined, when it declared its independence from the Soviet Union in August 1991. 

The country of then 52 million people, which today is being invaded by Russian forces, gained physical control of approximately 1,900 strategic nuclear warheads and 2,500 tactical nuclear weapons, including an arsenal of SS-19 and SS-24 intercontinental ballistic missiles, and dozens of Tupolev strategic bombers with air-launched cruise missiles.


Read the story here.

Scotland Divided Ahead of Approaching Independence Referendum #scottishindependence


‘Yes’ or ‘No’? A Divided Scotland Confronts Independence Vote.

By Christoph ScheuermannIn just a few weeks, Scots will be going to the polls to vote on whether they want to declare independence from the United Kingdom. Polls indicate that the answer may be In just a few weeks, Scots will be going to the polls to vote on whether they want to declare independence from the United Kingdom. Polls indicate that the answer may be “no,” but the mood among those in favor of independence is giddy. Signs from both camps dot the Scottish roadways as the vote approaches.

Traveling through Scotland, you might think the result of September’s independence referendum is a foregone conclusion. “Yes” signs are everywhere. But surveys tell a different story and many who are wary of the hype.

Liam Stevenson was never the type to become particularly passionate about politics. A tank truck driver in Scotland, he spent most of his free time with his wife Helen and daughter Melissa in their small house in Cumbernauld, north-east of Glasgow. Every now and then, he would join his friends for a few pints.

But a couple of months ago, he experienced a transformation not unlike that of Franz Kafka’s character Gregor Samsa, who became a new creature overnight. Stevenson became a political activist.

He guides his Volkswagen Golf past working class housing cowering in the shadows of gigantic residential towers. Cumbernauld was created after the war and has since become a Scottish dystopia. It is a place that remains stuck somewhere between the 1950s and 1980s. In the cold jargon of the welfare bureaucracy, the housing projects are known as “schemes” and look just as soulless as the word sounds. Stevenson spent his childhood here. He waves at a man on the way by. “That’s Paul. He stabbed his son in the face. No idea why.”

Iain Downie is an oil drilling engineer from Edinburgh and would like to see Scotland remain a part of the United Kingdom. Many are hoping that oil and natural gas will be enough to finance an independent Scotland, but Downie isn't so sure.Iain Downie is an oil drilling engineer from Edinburgh and would like to see Scotland remain a part of the United Kingdom. Many are hoping that oil and natural gas will be enough to finance an independent Scotland, but Downie isn’t so sure.

Stevenson wants people to see the city through his eyes so they can understand his confidence. After all, the day that could change everything is rapidly approaching. On Sept. 18, more than 4 million Scots are to vote on whether they want to become independent from the United Kingdom.

Like many of his compatriots, Stevenson dreams of independence. He hopes that it will ring in a new era of prosperity, driven by oil and natural gas. An independent Scotland would be freer, richer and more equitable, Stevenson says. Cumbernauld, too, would flourish.

The process currently underway on the British archipelago is a unique one. Free of violence, amid an atmosphere of amicability, a referendum is to be held that could result in the end of a 307-year-old union with the United Kingdom. The Scottish move toward independence is also reflective of the ongoing erosion of the European nation-state. After years of crisis, many people no longer identify with their countries, preferring instead to be part of smaller, more manageable regions. Separatists across Europe are pushing for independence, including the Catalonians in Spain, the Flemish in Belgium and the South Tyroleans in Italy. But only in Scotland is a nationally recognized referendum in the works.

A Segway training course on a golf course in the Scottish Highlands. The estrangement between the United Kingdom and Scotland began in the 1960s and 70s when the coal, steel and shipping industries in Great Britain began contracting. Just as Scotland had profited handsomely before, it now suffered even more. A Segway training course on a golf course in the Scottish Highlands. The estrangement between the United Kingdom and Scotland began in the 1960s and 70s when the coal, steel and shipping industries in Great Britain began contracting. Just as Scotland had profited handsomely before, it now suffered even more. “Being British began to lose its attraction,” wrote historian Tom Devine in his work “The Scottish Nation.”

The Undecided

The plan to hold the vote was born in 2011 after the Scottish National Party (SNP) emerged victorious in parliamentary elections there. In March 2013, the date of the referendum was set for this September. This year, various factions and groups belonging to the “yes” campaign have been fighting hard for Scottish secession. Foremost among them is Alex Salmond, SNP party boss and Scottish leader as first minister of Scotland. But the three largest parties in Great Britain, the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, are largely opposed to Scottish independence and are working against secession under the motto “Better Together.”

Currently, surveys indicate that a majority of Scots will likely vote to remain part of the UK, with between 45 percent and 55 percent in favor of staying. No survey has yet projected a victory for the “yes” camp. But many voters remain undecided, making it difficult for pollsters to make reliable prognostications. Campaigners, meanwhile, have zeroed in on those who have not yet made up their mind.

Liam Stevenson is talking into his mobile phone as he walks into his kitchen. He has organized a panel discussion on the independence referendum for this evening, to be held in a small Cumbernauld theater. He wanted to have representatives from both camps there, but the unionists declined to send anybody. Now, a PR consultant, a health worker and a member of the Scottish Socialist Party are going to speak in support of independence. Stevenson is euphoric. He has never before spoken in front of so many people and has also never organized a political event. “It gives me a huge boost,” he says.

The author Janice Galloway at her home in Glasgow. She is One of Those Whose books helped the Scots writers develop a sense of self-confidence in the face of economc decline. The author Janice Galloway at her home in Glasgow. She is One of Those Whose books helped the Scots writers develop a sense of self-confidence in the face of economc decline. “We were wild,” she says.

Helen scoops mince and tatties (mashed potatoes, ground beef and mashed carrots) onto his plate. The couple is eating on the sofa in front of their flat-screen television, but Stevenson is too agitated to have any appetite. “The English have gotten drunk on our riches for decades: oil, natural gas, whiskey,” he says. Scotland, he continues, must finally regain control of its own resources without allowing the government in London to skim off the profits and only send a part of them back. As he speaks, his meal becomes cold.

Stevenson isn’t a politician, nor is he an intellectual. If you spend an afternoon with him, you find out about his uncle’s affairs and learn that Stevenson sometimes cries when he goes to the movies. He wears his heart on his sleeve — and that too, he says, is something that separates him from the taciturn English to the south. Helen gets a quick kiss and then her husband sets off for the theater, where all 270 seats are filled. After the podium discussion, he later says, two women who had previously been undecided came up to him. They said they now planned to vote for independence.

The debate over independence isn’t one just for politicians. It has also become a vital one for people like Stevenson as well — and for people like the author in Glasgow, the fashion designer in Dundee and the engineer from Aberdeen. Not all Scots that one meets want to split off from the United Kingdom. But there are many of them, and they are eager to talk about why.

Compelling Arguments?

Janice Galloway says she was long unsure as to whether she should vote “yes” or “no” on Sept. 18. She is an author and is sitting in a Glasgow tearoom. At the end of the 1980s, she was among the young writers, painters and other artists who began to more closely examine Scotland. Her own debut novel was about an anorexic, alcoholic teacher on the west coast. Galloway belongs to a generation that doesn’t just see Scotland as being home to beautiful landscapes, romantically weathered castles and whiskey distilleries.

Liam Stevenson is a truck driver in Scotland. He used to spend his free time with his wife Helen and his daughter Melissa. Now, though, He Has become Involved in the pro-independence campaign and is busy organizing rallies.Liam Stevenson is a truck driver in Scotland. He used to spend his free time with his wife Helen and his daughter Melissa. Now, though, He Has become Involved in the pro-independence campaign and is busy organizing rallies.

She says that she waited for compelling arguments from those opposed to independence, but not many were forthcoming. At the beginning of August, more than 200 prominent British wrote an open letter urging the Scots not to leave the kingdom. But aside from “let’s stay together,” there wasn’t much to the missive. “It looked more like a dinner invitation than a defense of the kingdom,” Galloway says. She found herself disappointed by the lack of enthusiasm among unionists.

Galloway spent her childhood and youth in Ayrshire on Scotland’s west coast. One of her first jobs was as a singing waitress, entertaining tourists in a banquet hall. Her first paycheck went toward buying a telephone for her mother, who lived in Yorkshire at the time. When her mother spoke on the phone, she always used a fake Yorkshire accent out of shame for her Scottish roots.

In the south of the island, the Scots were seen as well-behaved minions, an image that was embodied in the figure of John Brown, a servant of Queen Victoria’s. The queen loved Scotland, Balmoral Castle and, it is said, her servant, Brown. People still believe today that they might have had an affair. Brown represents the archetype of the loyal, obedient Scot, true to the queen and the throne to the death. At the same time, he stands for a period when nobody questioned the union of Scotland with the United Kingdom, largely the result of economic prosperity which benefitted the north as well. Between 1885 and 1939, one-third of British governors-general abroad were Scots. The bond remained strong deep into the 20th century. “When I was a girl, there was a strong British identity,” Galloway says.

Hayley Scanlan is a fashion designer in Dundee. She too would like to see Scotland vote yes on Sept. 18. Hayley Scanlan is a fashion designer in Dundee. She too would like to see Scotland vote yes on Sept. 18. “It’s an exciting time for Scotland,” she says.

The estrangement began in the 1960s and 70s when the coal, steel and shipping industries in Great Britain began contracting. Just as Scotland had profited handsomely before, it now suffered even more. “Britishness may have had less appeal than before,” writes historian Tom Devine in his work “The Scottish Nation.” As the economy declined, the Conservatives lost support among the working class and Labour became the strongest political power.

Nowhere was Margaret Thatcher more hated than in Scotland. When she came to power in 1979, there were 15 coal mines in Scotland; by the time she stepped down in 1990, only two were left. Many Scots blamed Thatcher for the economic troubles and her anti-labor union policies deepened the chasm between the north and the south. Janice Galloway is one of those authors whose books helped the Scots develop a sense of self-confidence in the face of the collapse. Others include Irvine Welsh, Alasdair Gray and Iain Banks in addition to painters Ken Currie and Jenny Saville as well as the composer James MacMillan. A counterculture developed. “We were wild,” Galloway says.

Waking Up from Hibernation

Welsh’s novel “Trainspotting,” published 21 years ago, likely had a greater influence on young Scots than any other book. The sallow skies, the social housing, even the junkie-lifestyle in Edinburgh suddenly seemed sexy. Welsh and other artists showed a way to differentiate themselves from Thatcher and the southern British culture.

A sheep shearer throws fleece in the air at the Cupar Agricultural Show in Fife. For years, Scotland has voted solidly center-left and harbors a particular hatred for Margaret Thatcher. Of Scotland's 59 deputies in the House of Commons, only one is from the Conservative Party.A sheep shearer throws fleece in the air at the Cupar Agricultural Show in Fife. For years, Scotland has voted solidly center-left and harbors a particular hatred for Margaret Thatcher. Of Scotland’s 59 deputies in the House of Commons, only one is from the Conservative Party.

This self-confidence remains today, even if bitterness increasingly mixes in with the pride. Liam Stevenson, the truck driver, grumbles an entire afternoon about the English who have “dragged us into illegal war after illegal war.” Little has brought the Scots together more in recent years than their demarcation from the south, particularly when the Conservatives have the upper hand in Westminster. Of the 59 Scottish members of the House of Commons, only one is a Tory. A favorite joke has it that there are more pandas north of the English-Scottish border than there are Conservative parliamentarians. There are two pandas and they live in the Edinburgh zoo.

With just weeks to go before the referendum, Scotland seems like a land waking up from a winter slumber to celebrate the Caledonian version of the Arab Spring. Blue “Yes” stickers are plastered on lampposts while “Yes” signs are displayed in windows. If it weren’t for the opinion polls, one would think that the result of the referendum was a foregone conclusion.

“We’ve been talking about nothing else for months,” says Hayley Scanlan. She works as a fashion designer in Dundee, a port city on the east coast between Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Scanlan says she is in favor of independence because Scotland needs its own voice.

Her studio is in an old jute spinning mill in the center of town which provides workspace to jewelry designers, start-ups and artists. Bits of material and leather cover the floor while at the drawing table, an assistant cuts out the patterns for the next spring collection. The room is just big enough for the two women, three sewing machines and a couple of clothes racks. When large orders come in, Scanlan’s mother and aunt help with the sewing.

Scanlan says that she isn’t interested in politics and has never voted, but she is planning on casting her ballot in the referendum. “It is an exciting time for Scotland,” she says, adding that she is happy that she has found success in her homeland. Like many of her friends in the fashion industry, she initially wanted to move to London. But she didn’t have enough money so she stayed in Dundee, where rents are much more affordable.

A bagpipe band rehearses in a parking lot in the Scottish Highlands. While traditions in Scotland are still alive and well, much of the country's newfound self-confidence stems from a forward-looking self-confidence.A bagpipe band rehearses in a parking lot in the Scottish Highlands. While traditions in Scotland are still alive and well, much of the country’s newfound self-confidence stems from a forward-looking self-confidence.

Scanlan belongs to the growing number of young entrepreneurs in her city that don’t want to expose themselves to the stress that comes with living in the British capital. Customers reach her by way of her online shop and she occasionally works with department stores as well. She only travels to the south for Fashion Week.

Oil and Gas

Although she is Scottish, Scanlan’s designs don’t use plaids or tweeds. She prefers leather, wool and lighter fabrics. “We don’t focus on the past, we focus on the present,” she says. That is true both of her fashion and of her politics.

For her, pride in her homeland is combined with frustration with the south. In contrast with London, she says, she can be herself in Dundee and she also believes that an independent Scotland would be more prosperous. She herself has seen that energy and tenacity can lead to success. She expects the same of Scotland.

The most important argument for the “yes” camp are the oil and natural gas reserves off the Scottish coast. First Minister Alex Salmond says they would be enough to boost the country’s prosperity and his party promises that income for the state would climb to over 7 billion pounds ($11.6 billion) per year by 2018. Others, though, estimate that treasure will be worth only half that. Salmond’s calculations are nothing but a gigantic bet on the oil reserves in the North Sea, the London-based Economist has written. One reason is the fact that, once the fields have been pumped dry, an independent Scotland would probably be liable for the estimated 40 billion pounds it will cost to clean up the dozens of kilometers of pipelines and cables in the North Sea.
Vote Yes for Scottish independenceIain Downie says the Scottish government is intentionally covering up such costs because they put a damper on the euphoria surrounding independence. Downie is just coming from rugby practice and is still glowing from the exertion as he sits down in an Aberdeen bar and orders himself a beer. He works for BP as a drilling engineer, ensuring that the oil continues to flow. He plans to vote “no” in the referendum. He wants to see Scotland remain a part of the United Kingdom.

Downie has been working at his current job with BP for the last two years and is responsible for tapping into new oil fields. He knows just how unreliable reserve estimates can be. He spent most of his first year on a swaying drilling ship west of the Shetland Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. It was winter and they were trying to find a new field 1,200 meters below the surface. It was Downie’s job to calculate how thick and long the pipe had to be. In the end, the project was abandoned. “You have to be sick to like this job,” he says.

His father is a retired policeman and his mother a nurse. In contrast to most Scots, the Downies respected Margaret Thatcher because she promised to bring Great Britain back to life after decades of paralysis. Iain Downie grew up in a quiet suburb of Edinburgh and his parents managed to avoid most of the pain associated with the dying mines and shipyards. The kingdom gave the family a sense of security and belonging.

Optimists and Pessimists

Downie studied in Edinburgh, has lived in South Africa and has worked in Oman and Norway. In two or three years, he plans to move to Azerbaijan or to the Persian Gulf, chasing the oil. Having a British passport opens doors around the world, he says. An independent Scotland would be insecure, Downie believes.

He orders another beer and explains that the search for oil has become more difficult in recent years as the reserves have shrunk and become more difficult to access than they used to be. As he talks, the idea of Scottish independence seems reduced to the crazy idea of gambling addicts. For him, as an engineer who values certainty, there are too many variables, too many unknowns. “What happens with the pensions?” he asks. “Can we keep the British pound? How do we trade goods and merchandise if we don’t even have a stock exchange in Scotland?”
He also thinks it is right for the British military to intervene in conflicts when it becomes necessary. In his view, Great Britain is the only European country that thinks globally and keeps all of its options open when it comes to international crises. “I am proud of the fact that we have an impact on the world,” he says.

In the end, the doubts that plague Downie could also be enough to move other Scots to vote against independence. The referendum is also a measure of a country’s willingness to take risks. It is a fight between the optimists and the pessimists.

Follow Christoph Scheuermann on Twitter


SPIEGEL ONLINE.

London rapper turned jihadist believed to be under investigation for James Foley beheading #JamesFoley


Abdel-Majed Abdel BaryAbdel-Majed Abdel Bary was known as ‘L Jinny’ as a rapper

A former rapper fighting with the Islamic State (Isis) in Syria is believed to be one of several British jihadists under investigation following the beheading of James Foley.

Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 24, was known as L Jinny or Lyricist Jinn at home in London, where his rising music career saw him appear in videos and have his singles played on BBC Radio in 2012.

He came to national attention earlier this year, when he posted a picture of himself holding a severed head on Twitter after resurfacing in Syria.

The gruesome picture, believed to have been taken in the Isis stronghold of Raqqa, was captioned: “Chillin’ with my homie or what’s left of him.”

Bary reportedly travelled to the country last year from Maida Vale, west London, where he lived with his mother and five siblings.

His father Adel Abdul Bary 1, an Egyptian refugee thought to be one of Osama Bin Laden’s closest lieutenants, was extradited from Britain to the United States on charges of terrorism in 2012 for his alleged roles in the bombings of two US embassies in east Africa in 1998.

His family is frequently mentioned in rap songs that can still be listened to online, with many people, unaware of L Jinny’s macabre transformation, praising his lyrics.

In early songs put online in 2012, Bary makes apparent reference to drug use, violence and life on a council estate and talks about the threat of his family being deported to Egypt.

“It’s hard to progress in the future with a damaged past but still I try to count my blessings and I thank Allah,” he rapped in 2012.

“I’m trying to change my ways but there’s blood on my hands and I can’t change my ways until there’s funds in the bank.

“I can’t differentiate the angels from the demons, my heart’s disintegrating. I ain’t got normal feelings.

“Even my life’s blessed, still I will not find rest.”

In later songs, apparent references to cannabis (“roll up and watch the leaves ignite”) stop and are replaced with tirades against people who choose to spend their money clubbing, drinking and on drugs rather than feeding their families.

Many British jihadists are known to be in Syria, including these men featuring in an Isis video to urge Islamists in the West to join themMany British jihadists are known to be in Syria, including these men featuring in an Isis video to urge Islamists in the West to join them.

The most recent video, which was posted on YouTube in March this year, is called “The Beginning”.

“Give me the pride and the honour like my father, I swear the day they came and took my dad, I could have killed a cop or two,” Bary raps.

“Imagine then I was only six, picture what I’d do now with a loaded stick. Like boom bang fine, I’m wishing you were dead, violate my brothers and I’m filling you with lead.”

Bary’s current whereabouts in Syria is not known and his Twitter account under the name “Terrorist” @ItsLJinny has been deactivated.

Previous posts mentioned Abu Hussein al Britani, a fellow Isis militant who has uploaded pictures of himself on Twitter with guns in Syria.

He and associate Abu Abdullah al-Britani were seen offering travel advice to would-be jihadists online earlier this year.

The Sun newspaper has linked the trio to a group of British jihadists known as “The Beatles”, including the man known as “John” who beheaded American journalist Mr Foley.


The Independent.


  1. Why are the family still in the country,  If parents allow their children to become terrorists, or do not notify the authorities of their child’s intentions then the whole family should be deported back to where they came from, this is the only way we will show these ‘immigrants’ that we will not tolerate their sick ideas of idealism 

James Foley beheading: UK close to identifying jihadist #JamesFoley


By BBC News.James Foley was reporting in Syria when he was captured in 2012James Foley was reporting in Syria when he was captured in 2012

The UK is close to identifying a suspected British jihadist from the footage of the killing of a journalist, the ambassador to the US has said.

The Islamic State (IS) militant with an English accent appears in the extremist group’s video of the killing of American journalist James Foley.

“I do know from my colleagues at home that we are close,” Peter Westmacott told CNN’s State of the Union show.

The Foreign Office and Home Office refused to comment on the remarks.

“We do not comment on security matters,” an FCO spokesman said.

‘Sophisticated technologies’

Mr Westmacott said: “We’re not far away from that [finding Foley's killer]. We’re putting a lot into it.”

He added that some “very sophisticated” voice recognition technology was being used in the hunt, which is being led by the FBI.

“I can’t say more than this at the moment, but I do know from my colleagues at home that we are close,” he added.

Earlier this month, extremist group IS published a video of the moments before and after the apparent beheading of Mr Foley, 40, who was seized in Syria in 2012.

The man shown in the video spoke with an English accentThe man shown in the video spoke with an English accent.

Referring to the 500-plus British citizens who are thought to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight in the past few years, Mr Westmacott said: “It goes beyond one horrendous criminal… It’s a betrayal of all our values.”

His comments come after Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond wrote in the Sunday Times that the government was investing “significant resources” to tackle “a barbaric ideology”.

Mr Hammond also warned the threat from conflicts in Syria and Iraq could last a generation.

Philip Hammond said the conflicts in Iraq and Syria could last a generationPhilip Hammond said the conflicts in Iraq and Syria could last a generation.

Downing Street earlier announced the appointment of a new security convoy to Iraq.

Lt Gen Sir Simon Mayall, the government’s senior defence advisor for the Middle East, will travel to the country next week to meet political leaders.

Work is also under way to supply “non-lethal equipment” to Kurdish forces who are battling IS, including night vision equipment and body armour, a No 10 spokesman added.

Domestic threat

Home Secretary Theresa May has said the government is looking at new powers to tackle the threat of extremism in Britain.

But shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper called for a stronger domestic response.

“More must be done to stop British citizens joining the barbarism and to keep the country safe if they return,” she wrote in the Sunday Times.

Islamic State was formed out of al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2013Islamic State was formed out of al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2013.

She called for more action “to disrupt the travel plans of those planning go out to fight through better monitoring of the borders’ watch list as well as access to passports”.

The Home Office insisted it would take the “strongest possible action” against people travelling to fight in Iraq and Syria.

A spokesman said: “The police, security services and Border Force are actively working to identify, detect and disrupt terrorist threats, including from British fighters attempting to return to the UK.

“They use a wide range of powers including those which allow them to detain and interview individuals at the UK border suspected of being involved in terrorism.”

Senior Conservative MP David Davis, meanwhile, said TPims – used to restrict movement, the use of computers and mobile phones and meetings with others – were “completely useless”.

“What happens with them is that all the dangerous villains get away – they leave the country, go off back to Pakistan or now to Iraq,” he told BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend.


Who are Islamic State (IS)?

  • Formed out of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in 2013, IS first captured Raqqa in eastern Syria.
  • By early 2014, it controlled Falluja in western Iraq.
  • Has since captured broad swathes of Iraq, seizing the northern city of Mosul in June.
  • Fighting has displaced at least 1.2 million Iraqis.
  • Pursuing an extreme form of Sunni Islam, IS has persecuted non-Muslims such as Yazidis and Christians, as well as Shia Muslims, whom it regards as heretics.
  • In July alone, IS expanded dramatically, recruiting some 6,300 new fighters largely in Raqqa, an activist monitoring group said.

Government forces in Iraq said on Sunday that they had defeated an attack – suspected to be by IS – on the country’s largest oil refinery, killing several insurgents.

The Baiji refinery in northern Iraq has been the site of several battles between government forces and militants over the past few months.

Meanwhile, a car bomb killed at least seven people in the capital Baghdad.


BBC News.