British Coyotes Now Smuggling Jihadis Out Of The UK

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Illegal immigrant smugglers in the U.K. are getting would-be jihadis out of Britain, instead of helping illegals from Europe get into the country.

The U.K. passed sweeping new legislation in 2015 that severely restricts suspected terrorists from leaving the country. The law has significantly increased the difficulty for would-be jihadis to travel to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State.

“This important legislation will disrupt the ability of people to travel abroad to fight and then return, enhance our ability to monitor and control the actions of those who pose a threat, and combat the underlying ideology that feeds, supports and sanctions terrorism,” then-U.K. Home Secretary and current Prime Minister Theresa May told reporters in 2015.

The majority of British terrorists travel to Iraq and Syria via complex international travel plans, designed to throw off the scent of global intelligence organizations. Many would-be terrorists have connections to the criminal underground and are tapping illicit smuggling networks to get out of the country.

Raffaello Pantucci, an expert at the U.K.-based Royal United Services, told The Wall Street Journal that illegal jihadi migration is “a weak spot and a problem” for the U.K.

A spokesman for the U.K. Home Ministry pushed back on these claims saying the government “has taken a number of steps to strengthen our border and otherwise prevent travel by suspected terrorists.”

The Soufan Group, a U.S.-based security intelligence firm, estimates the U.K. has at least 760 of its citizens fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The high number reveals the draw of ISIS to many British-born Muslims.

Infamous ISIS terrorist “Jihadi John,” who beheaded several western citizens in ISIS propaganda videos, illegally left the U.K. in 2012. Jihadi John reportedly snuck on to a ferry, and made his way through a complex web of smuggling networks to Syria. In November, Hungarian police arrested two British ISIS wanna-be’s who illegally left the U.K. and were making their way to Romania.

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