UK Justice Secretary David Gauke voiced alarm over returnees "from dangerous parts of the world where they have voluntarily gone to”, saying “there are clearly dangers involved” for the British public in an interview with Sky News. Commenting on the case of Shamima Begum, the wife of a Daesh* fighter, who recently made headlines claiming that she wants to return home, the official pointed out that their hands are tied to some degree in dealing with these people, saying “we have to act within the powers that we have".
"It is the case we can't make people stateless, but without getting too drawn into the specifics, the approach that we take as a government, which is the responsible one, is to ensure that we protect the British public. That is the key thing”, he stated, also noting that “we need to make sure the British public are protected".
He might thereby have contradicted Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who said that he "will not hesitate" to stop the Daesh teen wife from returning to the UK.
“We must remember that those who left Britain to join Daesh were full of hate for our country. My message is clear — if you have supported terrorist organisations abroad I will not hesitate to prevent your return. If you do manage to return you should be ready to be questioned, investigated and potentially prosecuted", his warning says.
The schoolgirl from Bethnal Green in London, who left to Daesh's caliphate in 2014, was recently discovered alive in a refugee camp in northern Syria and has appealed to return to the UK.
While her family has implored the UK government to bring her home, Security Minister Ben Wallace declared this week that the UK would not be rescuing her, or others, from Syria, “putting at risk British people's lives to go and look for terrorists or former terrorists in failed states”.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia