It appears there are now more British Muslims fighting with the ISIS extremist militant group than there are actually fighting with Britain, according to sources.
Although it’s hard to provide exact numbers, Official government is estimating up to 800 British Islamic State fighters aiding the group and contributing attacks in Syria and Iraq. However according to the Ministry of Defense in Britain, there are only about 600 British Muslim soldiers apart of their armed forces.
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The news follows the tragic incident of American Journalist James Posey being executed by beheading in a video released by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS. The executioner in the video spoke with a British accent and is believed to be a British national, according to U.K. Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond.
Hammond mentions the problem of British-Muslim extremists is not a new occurrence and it only heightens awareness of the situation, as he and other government officials have been dealing with the issue for many months.
According to Parliament member Khalid Mahmood, who lives in an area with a high amount of Muslims, the government’s estimates on exactly how many British ISIS fighters are far too low. Mahmood is claiming around 1,500 extremists have been recruited in the past few years, a statement he said in an interview with Newsweek magazine.
A counter-extremism organization based in London, called Quilliam, believes many British Muslims have a hard time fitting into society. These British Jihadists-turned-extremists feel Muslims are being attacked in the Mideast for the simple reason that they’re Muslims. Because of this, increased amounts of British nationals are finding the ISIS narrative to defend Islam hard to resist.
There was a measure implemented, called Channel, that identifies people who’ve been flagged as a high risk who potentially could be attracted to ISIS extremism. However a major flaw in that concept is the fact that it doesn’t take into account the many people who fly under the radar and won’t initially get flagged.
Quilliam Foundation member Ghaffar Hussain, says that foreigners traveling to Sryia and Iraq are not limited to only British nationals however, as he reports it’s a Western European crises involving counties like Holland, France and other places as well.