Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Top Met Officer Warns of Threat Posed by Jihadi Children Returning to UK

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Top Met Officer Warns of Threat Posed by Jihadi Children Returning to UK

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Davenport Crime Editor Allan Hall in Berlin EXCLUSIVE

A LEADING counter-terrorist police officer today warned of the threat of children trained by Islamic State coming back to Britain to carry out attacks.

Commander Dean Haydon, the head of the Met's counter-terrorism command, said police and other services had a duty to safeguard children returning from Iraq and Syria. "A child in a war zone would have seen some pretty horrendous things," he told the Standard. But he warned: "Some terror groups are training children to commit atrocities. We need to not just understand the risk the mother poses but the risk that any child poses as well. We look at them on a case-by-case basis and they may be arrested."

He also revealed that police are DNAtesting children who have been brought to the UK after being born in the socalled IS caliphate to establish their identity and whether they have the right to live here. Fewer than five "stateless" children are believed to have returned with British mothers who had gone to Syria and married jihadist fighters.

Last month a 27-year-old woman, who was with a child under two, was arrested at Heathrow airport under terrorism laws. Mr Haydon said: "If a mother turns up with a stateless child, born in Syria, we need to be satisfied that that child actually belongs to that mother because we have had instances of kids trying to be smuggled back into the UK but not actually belonging to that parent."

The head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency has warned of the "massive danger" posed by IS women and children returning to Europe. Hans-Georg Maassen said: "We have to consider that these children could be living timebombs. There is a danger that these children come back brainwashed with a mission to carry out attacks."

Children carried out three of five Islamist attacks in Germany in 2016. A 12-year-old boy was also detained after trying to bomb a Christmas market. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.