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Last Updated Thursday December 07 2017 11:46 AM IST

UK will 'destroy and eliminate' citizens fighting with Islamic State

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UK will 'destroy and eliminate' citizens fighting with Islamic State

London: British citizens fighting for Islamic State should be located and killed and not allowed back into the country, new defense minister Gavin Williamson told the Daily Mail on Wednesday.

"Quite simply, my view is a dead terrorist can't cause any harm to Britain," he told the tabloid.

"We should do everything we can do to destroy and eliminate that threat," he added.

An estimated 800 British passport holders traveled to fight in Iraq and Syria, with 130 killed and around 400 returning, leaving 270 still in the Middle East.

The issue came into sharp focus in 2014 when British citizen Mohammed Emwazi -- also known as "Jihadi John" -- appeared in IS propaganda videos showing the beheading of a number of captives.

Williamson, who became defense chief last month after Michael Fallon resigned over allegations of misconduct, vowed that fighters who fled to other countries would also be tracked and refused passage back to Britain.

"We have got to make sure that as (they) splinter and as they disperse across Iraq and Syria and other areas, we continue to hunt them down," he told the Mail.

"Make sure there is no safe space for them, that they can't go to other countries preaching their hate, preaching their cult of death."

His interview came hours after two men appeared in London court charged with a plot to kill British prime minister Theresa May.

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The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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