Some of the British men who have traveled to the Middle East to fight on behalf of the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have grown disillusioned and now they’d like to return to the more tranquil confines of the United Kingdom.
The Muslim fighters are afraid to go back, though, because they worry they’ll end up in prison, according to British television network ITV.
King’s College London professor Peter Neumann, an expert on terrorism and radicalization, indicated that a jihadist recently got in touch with King’s College researchers. The unidentified jihadi claimed to represent 30 other men. His message was that British Muslim extremists who ventured to the Middle East to join ISIS radicals have now grown disenchanted with their adventure.
“We came to fight the regime and instead we are involved in gang warfare,” the Islamic mercenary said, according to The Independent. “It’s not what we came for but if we go back we will go to jail.”
Neumann suggested that it’s all very sad that these Muslim Brits went to the Middle East to fight Syria’s Assad regime but ended up involved with various rebel factions in a complex civil war. Now, those factions have taken to fierce and violent warring among themselves.
“The people we have been talking to … want to quit but feel trapped because all the government is talking about is locking them up for 30 years,” Neumann said, according to ITV.
Neumann has suggested a government-authorized program of de-radicalization for British Muslims interested in rejoining Western civilization.
Western intelligence agencies have estimated that more than 500 British citizens have gone to Syria to fight under the ISIS umbrella or for some rebel group. About 20 have died. Approximately 250 have returned to Britain. Of those returnees, 40 have been charged with crimes, notes RT.
As of June, Western intelligence agencies had estimated that up to 1,500 Muslims from various other European countries had already linked up with radical Muslim rebel groups in the Middle East.
American Muslims have also made their way to the war-torn region. The FBI has estimated that some 15 Somali-American men from the Minneapolis area have joined radical jihadi groups in Syria.
A couple of those former Minnesota residents, Douglas McAuthur McCain and father-of-nine Abdirahman Muhumed, died fighting in Aleppo, Syria late last month.
McCain, a fun-loving, wanna-be rapper who converted to Islam and became radicalized, attended the same suburban high school and briefly lived under the same roof with Troy Kastigar, a Muslim who died in 2009 fighting in Somalia with al-Shabab, an al-Qaida-linked jihadist outfit. (RELATED: This High School Might As Well Change Its Name To ‘Jihadi High’)
In May, State Department officials verified that an American named Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha was part of a suicide bombing raid on Syrian government soldiers. (RELATED: American Suicide Bomber Was A Creepy Cat Lover Who Liked Eggo Waffles)
Under the flag of ISIS, Islamic radicals are attempting to turn a huge swath of territory in the Middle East into a radical Sunni “caliphate” spanning across substantial parts of both Syria and Iraq. (RELATED: Don’t Be Alarmed But Radical Muslims Just Declared Their Own Empire Across Much Of Middle East)
President Barack Obama has openly declared that the White House has no strategy to deal with ISIS. (VIDEO: Obama Foreign Policy ‘In Absolute Free Fall’ After ‘No Strategy’ Admission)
Princeton University professor Robert P. George has launched a bipartisan, interfaith petition calling for the destruction of ISIS in order to protect the religious minorities currently under siege in the region. Over 13,000 people have signed the petition thus far including Cornel West, Martin Peretz and Leon Wieseltier.