UK authorities warn of returning Syria fighters

AP News
Posted: Jun 23, 2014 7:10 AM

LONDON (AP) — A former British intelligence chief says security agencies will not be able to keep track of the hundreds of young Britons returning to the country after fighting with militants in Syria and Iraq.

Richard Barrett, a former head of counterterrorism at the MI6 intelligence agency, told the BBC that keeping track of all those who returned would be impossible.

British officials have estimated that between 400 and 500 Britons have traveled to Syria to fight, and some may have crossed into Iraq.

A video released online last week showed three men identified as British exhorting compatriots to join the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

Police counterterrorism official Peter Fahy warned Monday that slick ISIL recruiting videos made violent jihad look like a glamorous adventure.