British Effort Banks on Women to Halt Would-Be Fighters Bound for Syria

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
April 24, 2014, 10:32 a.m.

U.K. au­thor­it­ies are tak­ing new steps — some fo­cused on wo­men — to pre­vent Bri­tons from head­ing to Syr­ia and par­tak­ing in the fight­ing there.

“We are in­creas­ingly con­cerned about about the num­bers of young people who have or are in­tend­ing to travel to Syr­ia to join the con­flict,” the New York Times quotes Helen Ball, a seni­or coun­terter­ror­ism of­ficer for the Met­ro­pol­it­an Po­lice, as say­ing on Thursday. “We want to en­sure that people, par­tic­u­larly wo­men, who are con­cerned about their loved ones are giv­en enough in­form­a­tion about what they can do to pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing.”

Ball said the ef­forts aimed at en­cour­aging in­di­vidu­als to share their con­cerns with au­thor­it­ies are not meant to “crim­in­al­ize people,” but rather to “pre­vent tra­gedies.”

As part of the new cam­paign, of­ficers plan to dis­trib­ute leaf­lets at Brit­ish ports warn­ing of the risks of en­ter­ing Syr­ia, the Times re­ports. Of­fi­cials will also ad­vise in­di­vidu­als who want to of­fer hu­man­it­ari­an as­sist­ance in the three-year-old civil war against trav­el­ing to the coun­try, ask­ing them to donate to aid groups in­stead.

The Brit­ish ef­forts come amid alarms bells be­ing soun­ded re­cently by coun­terter­ror­ism of­fi­cials in the United States and sev­er­al European gov­ern­ments. The of­fi­cials fear that West­ern cit­izens join­ing com­bat in Syr­ia will re­turn to their home coun­tries rad­ic­al­ized and trained in mil­it­ant tac­tics.

Dutch In­teri­or Min­is­ter Ron­ald Plasterk on Wed­nes­day re­gistered his coun­try’s con­cerns to that end. Two Dutch na­tion­als are be­lieved to have car­ried out sui­cide at­tacks in Ir­aq and Syr­ia, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

What We're Following See More »
Priebus Asks Party to Unite Behind Trump
5 hours ago
Sanders Upsets Clinton in Indiana
6 hours ago

Despite trailing Hillary Clinton by a significant margin, Bernie Sanders wasn't going the way of Ted Cruz tonight. The Vermont senator upset Clinton in Indiana, with MSNBC calling the race at 9pm. Sanders appears poised to win by a five- or six-point spread.

Ted Cruz Bows Out, Effectively Ceding the Contest to Trump
7 hours ago

And just like that, it's over. Ted Cruz will suspend his presidential campaign after losing badly to Donald Trump in Indiana tonight. "While Cruz had always hedged when asked whether he would quit if he lost Indiana; his campaign had laid a huge bet on the state." John Kasich's campaign has pledged to carry on. “From the beginning, I’ve said that I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory,” said Cruz. “Tonight, I’m sorry to say it appears that path has been foreclosed."

Trump Wins Indiana, All but Seals the Nomination
7 hours ago

The Republican establishment's last remaining hope—a contested convention this summer—may have just ended in Indiana, as Donald Trump won a decisive victory over Ted Cruz. Nothing Cruz seemed to have in his corner seemed to help—not a presumptive VP pick in Carly Fiorina, not a midwestern state where he's done well in the past, and not the state's legions of conservatives. Though Trump "won't secure the 1,237 delegates he needs to formally claim the nomination until June, his Indiana triumph makes it almost impossible to stop him. Following his decisive wins in New York and other East Coast states, the Indiana victory could put Trump within 200 delegates of the magic number he needs to clinch the nomination." Cruz, meanwhile, "now faces the agonizing choice of whether to remain in the race, with his attempt to force the party into a contested convention in tatters, or to bow out and cede the party nomination to his political nemesis." The Associated Press, which called the race at 7pm, predicts Trump will win at least 45 delegates.

What’s the Average Household Income of a Trump Voter?
12 hours ago

Seventy-two thousand dollars, according to FiveThirtyEight. That's higher than the national average, as well as the average Clinton or Sanders voter, but lower than the average Kasich voter.