Posted on April 12, 2023

Nineteen Suspected Terrorists – Including Five Linked to ISIS – Are Living in Taxpayer-Funded Migrant Hotels

David Barrett, Daily Mail, April 11, 2023

Nineteen suspected terrorists have arrived in Britain via small boats across the Channel, security sources have told the Mail.

The foreign nationals linked with groups including Islamic State reached the United Kingdom illegally from northern France last year.

Most have since lodged asylum claims here – and cannot be deported due, in part, to human rights laws.

The 19 men are now believed to be living in hotels paid for by the British taxpayer.

Seven were already under ‘active investigation’ in other countries when they arrived here, it is understood.

Some of the 19 suspects are now under surveillance by the Security Service MI5, the government listening post GCHQ, and counter-terrorism police, it is believed.

But the Government is powerless to remove any of the 19, because they face a risk of torture or ill-treatment in their home countries.

Five of the known terror suspects who arrived last year are Iraqi, five are Iranian, four are Afghan, four are from Somalia and one is Libyan.

Of the seven under active investigation, five are linked with Islamic State (Isis) or its offshoots.

Three of those are Iraqi and two are associated with Isis’s Afghan affiliate, Islamic State in Khorasan. The remaining two are associated with Iranian terror groups.

British security services established the true identities of many of the 19 suspected terrorists through the routine fingerprinting carried out on all Channel arrivals, it is understood.

Evidence against them varies from case to case but is thought to include a mix of overseas convictions and intelligence material.

A security source said: ‘It’s a real problem and not something we’re able to easily stop.

‘Once they’re here we can monitor them and limit any potential threat they pose but it adds to the overall surveillance burden.’

The revelation will place intense pressure on opponents of the Government’s Illegal Migration Bill, which sets out new powers to detain Channel migrants, limit their access to human rights appeals and then remove them from the UK to Rwanda or another safe country.

Last night the suspected terrorists’ arrival in Britain by small boat was described as a ‘national scandal’.

Former Army officer Bob Seely, a Tory MP, said: ‘There are now not only criminals coming into the country illegally, but people with terrorist affiliations. This is appalling and deeply concerning.

‘Our security agencies have enough on their plate without having to increase monitoring to cope with an influx of foreign terror suspects.

‘Those who oppose Government measures to halt the small boats crisis frankly need a reality check.’

Natalie Elphicke, the Tory MP for Dover, said: ‘People will rightly be concerned that terror suspects have been able to enter our country in small boats and not be detained. It’s a national scandal.

‘This raises serious issues of national security. Ministers must urgently review this situation and make sure that public protection always comes first.’

Dr Alan Mendoza, of counter-terror think-tank the Henry Jackson Society, said: ‘This is extremely concerning. We already have enough problems with home-grown terrorist threats, without having to import others to join them.

‘It is quite horrific, and adds weight to the Government’s contention that there is a real risk posed by Channel migration.’

MI5 is known to have around 3,000 so-called ‘subjects of interest’ who are under active investigation.

Police and MI5 are able to carry out intense, round-the-clock surveillance of a maximum of only ten individuals because of the extraordinary cost.

This type of surveillance on one suspect requires 20 to 25 armed officers working shifts, costing more than £2million a year.

Prosecution of the 19 suspected terrorists who arrived by small boat last year is currently thought to be impossible.

If the cases against them are based on surveillance material – or other information from intelligence-gathering – it cannot be used in British courts.

MI5 and MI6 resist attempts to use such evidence in open court, fearing it will expose their surveillance capabilities or put covert sources in danger.

The suspects cannot be arrested and remanded in jail because there is no prospect of them being charged or prosecuted, based on available evidence.

Official figures show 1,057 small boat migrants reached Britain in the week to yesterday, the highest seven-day total so far this year.

Rishi Sunak has vowed to ‘stop the boats’ as one of his five key pledges to voters, after last year’s total reached a record of more than 45,700.

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘Our highest priority is protecting the safety and security of this country, which is why the UK has world-class police, security and intelligence agencies and a robust counter-terrorism framework.

‘If an individual of national security interest entered the UK as an illegal migrant, we would take the firmest possible steps, which could include removal, action by law enforcement or other appropriate measures.

‘As the Prime Minister has said, this Government is focused on stopping small boats, and the Illegal Migration Bill will enable us to take back control of our borders and ensure we have an asylum system that is fair, safe and legal.’