Met chief: ‘UK jihadis should lose passports’
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said the threat posed by British terrorists fighting in Iraq and Syria had increased and that new powers were needed to tackle them.
Britain’s most senior police officer called for the return of control orders, which were used to tightly restrict the movement and behaviour of terrorism suspects who could not face charges in court or be deported.
He also said that British citizens who fight for terrorist organisations such as the Islamic State (IS) should lose their passports.
France is already confiscating the passports of jihadis before they leave the country.
Yesterday Sir Bernard said: “It seems to me it’s a privilege to have a passport and if you’re going to start fighting in another country on behalf of another state, or against another state, it seems to me that you’ve made a choice.”
Of the estimated 500 or 600 British aspiring terrorists thought to have travelled to Syria, between two-thirds and three-quarters are thought to be from London.
Magnus Ranstorp, a former director for the study of terrorism and violence at St Andrews University, has said there are currently around 30 Scots fighting for IS.
During a visit to India, however, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg rejected calls for tougher measures.
He said: “We actually have a number of measures already on the statute book which allow us to keep a very close eye on people who aren’t in prison, aren’t sentenced, but are perceived to be a threat to the United Kingdom.”
Scotland Yard had earlier confirmed that “significant progress” is being made in the search for the English-speaking murderer of American journalist James Foley, beheaded by IS fighters in Iraq.