February 17, 2014
A British fanatic in Syria has warned would-be jihadists that fighting in the war-torn country is “more difficult than people think”. The unidentified man said being a Muslim warrior was more than just putting on a “tactical vest and grab a Kalashnikov and get a big beard”.
He also attacked the image that Syria was a “five star jihad” following reports by other fanatics that boasted of staying in villas and mansions. The warning raises the prospect that hundreds of Britons who are believed to have returned to the UK may have found it too hard in Syria and now plan to carry out attacks here instead. It is feared as many as 250 British jihadists are now back in the UK having fought in Syria.
It is feared that up to 500 Britons have travelled to Syria to fight, many with extremist groups linked to al-Qaeda and other terror organisations. A significant part of MI5’s works is now taken up dealing with threat posed by those travelling to or returning from Syria and presenting a risk here. MI5 and police had stopped one serious plot last autumn involving a cell of “returnee” jihadists planning a “Mumbai – style” gun attack in central London.