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Syria and Iraq

Question for Home Office

UIN HL1409, tabled on 22 July 2014

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what new steps they are taking to reduce the number of British Muslims travelling to Syria and Iraq to participate in jihad.

Answered on

30 July 2014

The Government takes the threat posed by those who travel to Syria and Iraq extremely seriously.Our priority is to dissuade people from travelling to areas of conflict in the first place, by highlighting that the best way for the public to help is to donate to UK-registered charities that have ongoing relief operations; that anyone going to Syria, even for humanitarian reasons, is at serious risk of being targeted by terrorist groups or the regime; and that travelling to Syria will place anxiety on families and friends.The Home Secretary this week backed a national campaign aimed at dissuading young people from travelling to Syria and Iraq. The campaign ‘Families Matter’ was launched on 21st July by Families Against Stress and Trauma (FAST), a community organisation which provides support to vulnerable families and individuals across the country. Through our work with law enforcement and responsible social media companies, we are making significant progress with removing online propaganda including material from proscribed groups, such as ISIL, which targets the vulnerable and encourages travel. Since December 2013, the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit have removed over 21,000 pieces of unlawful terrorist material, a significant proportion of which is related to Syria and Iraq. The police and security services are actively working to detect and disrupt terrorist threats. A range of measures may be used to, including disrupting travel by cancelling British passports, depriving dual nationals of British citizenship and excluding them from the UK, and conducting interviews at the border as part of Counter Terrorist investigations.

Answered by

Home Office