Armed Conflict: Syria

Home Office written question – answered on 21st February 2019.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been prosecuted for offences in relation to actions (a) in relation to the war while in Syria and (b) in relation to fighting in Syria after returning to the UK.

Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Security and Economic Crime of 11 June 2018, Official Report, column 666, with what offences were the approximately 40 people charged with.

Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Security and Economic Crime of 11 June 2019, Official Report, column 666, what sentences did the approximately 40 people receive.

Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Security and Economic Crime of 11 June 2018, Official Report, column 666, how many of the approximately 40 people were found guilty of committing an offence.

Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

As of June 2018, approximately 40 individuals have been convicted on their return from Syria/Iraq, either because of offences committed overseas or for other activity linked to their involvement in terrorism. The convictions are for a range of offences and are not limited to offences covered by terrorism legislation. In some cases, the individuals in question may not know they have been investigated and prosecuted (for non-terrorist offences) because of their engagement in terrorism. I am therefore unable to go into further details of specific offences or sentences received.

The safety and security of our country, our people and our communities remains the Government’s number one priority.Around 900 people of national security concern travelled from the UK to engage in the conflict in Syria and Iraq. Of these, approximately 20% have been killed while overseas, and around 40% have returned to the UK.The majority of those who have returned did so in the earlier stages of the conflict, and were investigated on their return. A significant proportion of these individuals are assessed as no longer being of national security concern.

Everyone – male or female, of any age – who returns from taking part in the conflict in Syria or Iraq must expect to be investigated by the police to determine if they have committed criminal offences, and to ensure that they do not pose a threat to our national security.

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