Daily Management Review

Mosul fight has implications for Britain and UK


Nearly 800 British citizens have travelled to Syria with many joining the ranks of ISIS. Once Mosul is captured, their return home could pose a threat to Britain and the EU.

In a newspaper interview, while dwelling on the growing threats of domestic terrorists, Britain’s security minister has stated that ISIS militants have aspirations to launch a chemical attack on Britain and in the European Union.
With ISIS being driven out from its stronghold in the Middle East, British citizens who have joined the terrorist group could launch such an attack once they return home.
"The ambition of IS or Daesh is definitely mass-casualty attacks," said Ben Wallace to the Sunday Times newspaper.
"They have no moral objection to using chemical weapons against populations and if they could, they would in this country. The casualty figures that could be involved would be everybody's worst fear."
Wallace did not divulge whether any specific terrorist plot has been unearthed.
Security services however have been carrying out exercises to prepare for such an eventuality.
According to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a global watchdog, ISIS militants deployed sulphur mustard gas in an attack on Marea, a Syrian town, in August 2015.
Following the dismantling of an Islamic State cell in Morocco earlier last year in February, authorities got evidence of the group's ambition to carry out chemical attacks elsewhere.
"Moroccan authorities dismantled a cell involving chemical weapons. They recovered toxic chemical and biological substances and a large stock of fertilizer. The substances found could have been used to produce home-made explosives and could have been transformed into a deadly toxin," said Wallace.
Of the 800 Britons who are thought to have travelled to Syria, probably to join the Islamic State, nearly 100 have been killed.
"The big concern is if Mosul collapses and all the other bases of Isis (Islamic State) collapse. We know there are a significant number of [Britons] fighting for IS in Syria. They will probably want to come home," said Wallace.
In a separate report, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper has quoted the head of Britain's regulator of charities as saying links between charities and extremism has trebled over the past three years.
In its report, the Charity Commission cited 630 referrals to police in 2015/16 over "allegations made ... about abuse of charities for terrorist or extremist purposes, including concerns about charities operating in Syria and other higher risk areas".