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 »
STAFF PICKS
What the Current Crop of Candidates Could Learn from JFK
21 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Maher Weighs in on Bernie, Trump and Palin
22 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

“We haven’t seen a true leftist since FDR, so many millions are coming out of the woodwork to vote for Bernie Sanders; he is the Occupy movement now come to life in the political arena.” So says Bill Maher in his Hollywood Reporter cover story (more a stream-of-consciousness riff than an essay, actually). Conservative states may never vote for a socialist in the general election, but “this stuff has never been on the table, and these voters have never been activated.” Maher saves most of his bile for Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, writing that by nominating Palin as vice president “John McCain is the one who opened the Book of the Dead and let the monsters out.” And Trump is picking up where Palin left off.

Source:
×