About half of the approximately 700 potential terror suspects that have travelled to Syria from the UK have returned home, according to British police.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley told reporters, “The number of people who have travelled to Syria has passed 700, in terms of those who are of significant concern to us and the security services.
“They are not aid workers or visiting relatives, they are people of real concern that they are getting involved in fighting or are supportive of it. They are potential terrorist suspects.”
Rowley hinted that the current deradicalisation programme, Prevent, may need an overhaul if it is to be effective. “Do we need a mandatory counter-radicalisation programme that we can force people on to?”
Currently about one arrest a day is made for terrorism related offences in the UK, but only those convicted can be forced to attend a course aimed at tackling extremist beliefs.
The rise of Islamic State has raised concerns that a terrorist attack could take place in the UK. 338 people were arrested on suspicion of terrorist activities in 2014.