LONDON: The UK faces serious security threat from British Muslim extremists returning from Afghanistan after fighting alongside Taliban, a top British commander has said.
“There is a link between Kandahar and urban conurbations in the UK,” said Brig. Ed Butler, who spent six months commanding British forces in Afghanistan.
“There are British passport holders, who live in the UK, being found in places like Kandahar,” Brig Butler was quoted as saying by a daily newspaper.
The British commander said he had seen evidence that terror groups based in southern Afghanistan were plotting with Muslim extremists in Britain to carry out attacks in the UK.
He suggested the traffic between Britain and Afghanistan may flow in both directions, with some British Muslims returning from the region and posing a domestic security threat. British Muslims are part of the Taliban militia fighting against UK security forces in Afghanistan, the top British commander said.
According to the report, a Whitehall source confirmed that the UK security services are aware of some radicalized British Muslims returning to the UK from Afghanistan.
“There are very small numbers of British citizens traveling out there, being trained up and then returning to the UK,” the source said.
Western intelligence agencies have expressed concerns that Afghanistan and its lawless border with Pakistan are housing camps used by Jihadi groups to train radicals from the Western countries.
Earlier this year, Nigel Inkster, a former deputy head of MI6, warned that Taliban groups over the border in Pakistan have “dispatched terrorists to a number of locations including Spain and the United Kingdom,” the report said.