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Returning UK jihadis 'could help prevent radicalisation'

A former head of counter terrorism at MI6 has said that Britons fighting in Syria and Iraq who want to return to the UK "could be very, very useful indeed in preventing further radicalisation".

Richard Barrett told the Today programme that "many of the people over there may have absolutely no intention of committing a terrorist act and are now finding themselves mixed up in something which is very far from what they they thought they would be mixed up in when they left to go there and clearly would like to get out."

And he added: "We don't yet know what the prime minister is offering to these people to leave Iraq and Syria and get on with their lives."

David Cameron and the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, will try to reach agreement this weekend on new measures to tackle the threat from Islamist extremists.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday 30 August.

  • 30 Aug 2014
  • From the section UK