The papers: Syrian air strikes and the FBI in Britain
- 24 August 2014
With the threat posed in the Middle East and elsewhere by the Islamic State (IS) organisation still a massive story for British newspapers, many of the Sunday papers examine the role of British jihadis - and try to find ways to stop more from becoming radicalised.
The Independent on Sunday pictures a variety of young Britons who have joined the jihad cause under the headline "We failed them".
The words are those of Afzal Amin, a Muslim and former British Army officer, who is interviewed in the paper at length.
He says young inner city Muslims in Britain feel "disenfranchised with politics" and "let down by imams and other community leaders".
"They have rebelled against everything that is familiar to them, but instead of mohicans and face piercings, they have opted for the YouTube glory of becoming an internationally wanted terrorist at war with the superpower that is the US," he adds.
The Sunday Times focuses on the identity of "Jihadi John" - the British-sounding IS fighter believed to have murdered US captive James Foley.
The paper says his identity has now been established by the security services, although the name has not been released.
It says voice recognition software, a landscape mapping system and even a technique of recognising the vein patterns on an individual's hands may have been used in the hunt for the killer.
Inside the paper, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond vows to "step up our efforts to monitor, track, intercept and arrest those returning from committing terrorist acts abroad".
He also said that there was a "joint effort between communities and the government - to stamp out radical misrepresentation of the teachings of Islam".
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper writes in the Times that "Theresa May needs to rethink her decision four years ago to end control orders and replace them with weaker Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures".
Elsewhere in the paper, Dominic Lawson argues that by labelling IS members as "'terrorists' or 'militants' instead of 'lunatics' and 'nutters' we unduly dignify them".
He says "Jihadi John's" video infamy was "the ego trip of a lifetime" for someone who was probably "a nonentity buried in obscurity among London's teeming millions".
IS's Western recruits, says Lawson, are "disaffected and often criminalised young men who want to be in the biggest, meanest gang... this is Clockwork Orange meets Salafism".
In the Mail on Sunday former shadow home secretary David Davis argues that the jihadists should be stripped of their citizenship.
"Since the young men are in effect swearing allegiance to a hostile state, they should forfeit their British citizenship - not just those who are dual nationals," said the senior Conservative MP.
It is a call backed in the paper by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey who says "young people who travel abroad to commit 'jihad' should know before they go that there is no way back to civilised society".
"It may focus their minds to know that the privileges and luxuries of our country (including our gyms, games consoles and relative peacefulness) will be denied to them in future," he says.
The Daily Mirror talks to one such Syrian-based jihadi, who uses the nom de guerre of Abu Abdullah al-Britani.
He tells a Mirror reporter posing as a would-be IS recruit that he was carrying out wrist exercises to make beheading "easier".
He adds that his parents in Portsmouth do not agree with jihad and he was not in contact with them as "there would be no point".
Both the Sunday People and the Mail on Sunday lead with the news that a Briton - who they report is an aid worker - has caught the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone.
The Mail says the unnamed man will be flown back to the UK in the next day or two and will be treated in a special secure unit at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north London.
He will be brought to the UK on a military plane as he would "almost certainly die" in Sierra Leone's overburdened hospitals, the paper says.
It speculates that the Briton - understood to be a medical worker - could receive the experimental Zmapp drug, which may have saved the lives of two American health-workers who caught the virus, as well as three Liberian medics.
The People reminds its readers that the authorities are stressing that the overall risk to people in Britain remained "very low".
The paper notes that British Airways has suspended flights to Sierra Leone and Liberia "due to deteriorating public health situation" in those countries, and the former country's parliament has announced "tough new penalties" on harbouring virus carriers in an attempt to staunch the outbreak.
In Liberia, even stricter measures have been taken, including the quarantining of a slum community of 75,000 people on the edge of the capital Monrovia.
The situation in West Point - which is to be sealed off from the rest of the capital for 21 days - is desperate, the Sunday Times says, with violence and hunger already causing deaths.
The Observer reports on research about how the West African Ebola outbreak started.
It says a two-year-old boy in a remote part of Guinea became the disease's first victim in December.
He probably encountered the disease from eating a fruit bat, which may have migrated from an area where it was in contact with bats from areas in central Africa where Ebola has been known in the past.
Fruit bats form part of the diet in rural Guinea, the paper explains.
Pepperoni Wayne Rooney
On a rather sparse weekend for Britain's newspapers, the return of a 1,200-year-old man (or thereabouts, details are sketchy) with two hearts makes big headlines.
The Doctor, for it is he, of Dr Who fame returned to our screens on Saturday night played by Peter Capaldi, the 12th actor to take the role in the TV series.
His performance gets a thumbs up from Michael Hogan in the Sunday Telegraph, who says that Capaldi's Time Lord "crackled with fierce intelligence and nervous energy".
"He was a class act and his air of unpredictability gave his character added tension," adds Hogan, who also praises writer Stephen Moffat's "smart" script.
In the Sunday Express, David Stephenson notes that Capaldi is not only the oldest actor to take the role (narrowly pipping William Hartnell) but also "the most Scottish".
"That's good I can complain about things," said the Doctor on "learning" of his new nationality.
"Did Alex Salmond have a hand in the script?" wonders Stephenson.
Euan Ferguson in the Observer says that despite the "beyond daft" plot, the series bodes well with nuanced performances, a sense of mystery to Capaldi's character and a "genuinely scary scene".
He also likes the way recurring character Commander Strax ("that cross between R2D2 and a pepperoni Wayne Rooney") says "it is to be hoped" rather than "hopefully".
Writing on the Who phenomena in the Sunday Times, James Gillespie notes that in addition to the 8.5m viewers expected to have seen Capaldi's debut in the role in the UK, thousands of others watched the show in special cinema screenings around the globe.
In the US, where fans were encouraged to turn up in Who costumes, "the show's appeal is growing", Gillespie notes.
The 12th Doctor has been compared to scientist and atheist figurehead Richard Dawkins - who in a neat bit of coincidence is married to Lalla Ward, a Doctor's assistant during Tom Baker's stint in the title role.
Gillespie isn't sure of the Dawkins comparison, but he says the "acid wit" of Capaldi's famous Malcolm Tucker character from political satire The Thick Of It is definitely part of the regenerated Doctor's make-up.
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