A man who fought against Islamic State has slammed the government for treating people such as him “like terrorists” as they do not want to “show favouritism” in how they deal with those returning from Syria.
Macer Gifford, 30, travelled to Syria in December 2014, with no military experience, because he could not “bear to see [Islamic State] hurt people” and signed up to fight with Kurdish forces.
Mr. Macer, a former Conservative Party candidate and councillor who gave up his job as a foreign currency broker to fight the terrorists, was rigorously interrogated on his return to the UK.
He was questioned for four hours by officers who took DNA swabs and fingerprints, photographed him, confiscated his computer, camera and phone and cancelled his credit cards before releasing him, The Timesreports.
— Macer Gifford (@macergifford) October 18, 2017
He told the paper his treatment was “almost a misuse of the law” because it is not illegal to fight in foreign wars, but fighting for a terrorist organisation is.
On Sunday, Mr. Gifford said: “The British government seems not to want to show favouritism but we need to distinguish between Kurds, jihadists and people fighting for [Islamic State].
“If it doesn’t want people to go and fight in foreign wars, pass a law. At the moment we’re being treated like terrorists.
“Returning jihadists are an enormous threat to the UK… but the justice system sometimes forgets who the victims and perpetrators are and apparently these people get reintegrated into society.”
UK Government Plans to ‘Bribe’ Returning Islamic State Fighters with Houses and Jobs
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 30, 2017
Last month, Max Hill, QC, the government’s watchdog on terrorism laws, said that teenagers who had “travelled [to join Islamic State] out of a sense of naivety, possibly with some brainwashing along the way” might not be prosecuted.
He claimed authorities “should be looking towards reintegration and moving away from any notion that we’re going to lose a generation thanks to this travel”.
Around half of the estimated 850 Britons believed to have gone to join the extremists in the Middle East are already thought to be back in the UK.