UK Independence Party (Ukip) leader Nigel Farage has called for Britons who have travelled to Syria to fight for Islamic State (IS) militants to be stripped of their UK citizenship.
His comments came after Prime Minister David Cameron returned from his holiday to hold meetings over what he called the “shocking and depraved” murder of journalist James Foley in Syria, by the fighters formerly known as Isis.
The British authorities have since launched a hunt for the suspected killer, after the black-clad IS fighter who appears to behead Foley in the footage speaks with a English accent.
On Wednesday, the party demanded that the Government strips militants with joint nationality of their UK citizenships, while British nationals could have their passports withdrawn. Those who do not hold UK citizenship but have been granted the right to live here should immediately have that right revoked, the party added in a statement.
In June, then-Foreign Secretary William Hague said there may be as many as 400 British citizens fighting in Syria, including some with IS which has swept through Iraq in recent months.
However, it unknown how many of those are IS fighters, or members other rebel groups fighting against President Assad’s regime. The statistics came after a British citizen fighting in Syria was believed to have committed a war crime by taking part in the execution of a prisoner in a video released in May.
Mr Farage said IS are a “group like no other”.
“I would say that in choosing to quit the UK to fight abroad, they have rendered themselves effectively stateless by conforming to an ideology of wanting to create a terrifying caliphate,” he said.
“If they choose to leave the UK they simply should not be allowed to return. Where intelligence identifies UK nationals fighting for IS their repatriation absolutely should be blocked,” Mr Farage added.
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