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Terrorism: British Nationals Abroad

Question for Attorney General

UIN HL8065, tabled on 28 April 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why they have not prosecuted the reported 350 Jihadis who have returned to the UK and are suspected of having fought in Syria or Iraq.

Answered on

11 May 2016

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has successfully prosecuted 35 cases involving 54 defendants who have returned to the UK and are suspected of having fought in Syria and / or Iraq. It currently has 13 such ongoing prosecutions involving 30 defendants. The Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland (PPSNI) is also dealing with one ongoing Syria-related prosecution. If there is evidence that people are going abroad to engage in terrorist activity, they can be arrested and prosecuted. They can also be arrested and prosecuted if they return to the UK. There are a wide range of offences that can be used to prosecute such individuals but each case has to be considered individually on its merits and whether an arrest or prosecution can take place will depend on the evidence available. If the police refer a case to the CPS, they consider whether the test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors is met. That is, whether there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction for any offence and, if so, whether it is in the public interest to prosecute.

Answered by

Attorney General