A High Court judge has questioned if an “extraordinary level” of state intervention was justified in stopping a 17-year-old boy from travelling to Syria amid fears he would wage jihad.
Mr Justice Hayden said he had wondered whether or not the “huge resources” deployed in the case were “proportionate”.
He said people often asked why time and taxpayers’ money was spent preventing teenagers from joining terror groups in the Middle East, adding that he considered the argument: “Why not just let them go?”
But the judge concluded that in the case of the boy, who had an uncle held in Guantanamo Bay, a young man’s life had been saved by the local authority’s intervention.
Mr Justice Hayden last year barred the teenager from travelling abroad following a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court after police and social workers raised concerns about him heading to Syria.
He made the teenager a ward of court – a move which bars him from leaving the jurisdiction of England and Wales.
And the judge said he has analysed the benefits of state intervention after reviewing the case at a follow-up hearing in London.
Mr Justice Hayden had been told that the boy’s two elder brothers had been killed waging jihad in Syria.
He said the teenager, who has joint Libyan and British nationality, could not be named.
But he said the local authority that had applied for the teenager to be made a ward of court was Brighton and Hove City Council.
Mr. Justice Hayden decided that it was right that vast amounts of time and money were spent on the case of a 17-year-old Muslim boy who apparently wanted to join the Al-Nusra Front – a branch of Al Qaeda — in Syria. The money, the time, the attention were all worth it, he said, because the boy’s life “was saved.”
And how was it saved? Not by changing his mind on the duty of Jihad, that is, fighting the Infidels, nor about the glory of dying while conducting Jihad, as had his two older brothers (while a third brother, though severely wounded, survived), fighting with the Al-Nusra front in Syria.
No, the boy’s life has been “saved” by Mr. Justice Hayden’s insistence that the boy be made a “ward of court,” and not allowed to leave the jurisdiction of England and Wales, and thus prevented from emulating his “martyred” brothers in Syria. And for how long can he remain a ward? Until he turns 18, or 21? For the rest of his life? The news accounts do not say, but one assumes he cannot be a “ward” forever. But while he is a ward, in order to prevent him from leaving the country, he will have to be watched around the clock, which will require at least four or five policemen to conduct the surveillance necessary. And that’s just for one potential Jihadi. For the British taxpayer, that’s an expensive proposition.
And it is reasonable to think that this boy, far from having his enthusiasm for Jihad dampened, will be even more eager to join the Al-Nusra Front precisely because the Infidels (British Division) are trying to stop him, and if he isn’t allowed to conduct it in Syria, he will attempt to conduct Jihad where he can, that is, in England or Wales? There is no reason to think he will be grateful for having his life “saved,” but rather, he will be furious that Infidels are preventing his “martyrdom” in Syria and all the good things, beginning with those dark-eyed houris, that Muslims are promised as a result.
The very few cases where Muslim terrorists have changed their minds have occurred not when they were prevented from taking part in violent Jihad, but when they did participate, saw the Al-Nusra Front, or the Islamic State, or similar groups, up close and personal, and became disenchanted because of the atrocities they witnessed. A handful of these ex-terrorists even became ex-Muslims as a result. But the boy here is not being given that chance. He will continue, one suspects, to idolize, and attempt to emulate, his three older brothers and his uncle (still in Guantanamo). At some point the boy will be deemed too old to be kept as a “ward.” And if he hasn’t already conducted some form of violent Jihad in Great Britain by that point (and been imprisoned or killed as a result), he will certainly head off somewhere – to Syria or Iraq or even family’s native Libya – to wage Jihad against those he considers to be Infidels.
Does the British government have a duty to save the lives of people whose sole reason for being is to kill Infidels? Mr. Justice Hayden is not alone in thinking that it is a good idea to keep this boy, whose desire to take part in violent Jihad is deep, in Great Britain, and under surveillance, in order to keep him and others like him alive. But this boy, and those others like him, are the very people who, if they could, would kill Mr. Justice Hayden and all other Infidels. It’s a kind of madness, a diseased sympathy, shared by those governments in the West that try so hard to save the lives of murderous Jihadis by preventing them, the truest of true believers in their midst, from going off to Syria or Iraq to conduct Jihad. Will their remaining in Western Europe make them less of a threat?
Why, when there exists the perfect honey-pot of the Islamic State (or other variations on the fanatical theme, such as the Al-Nusra Front) to attract the most dangerous Muslims, those most eager for “martyrdom,” should any Infidel of sense want to prevent these Muslims from joining such groups? Wouldn’t you be delighted to hear that a hundred, or a thousand, or ten thousand Muslims from your country had gone off to join the Islamic State, or the Al-Nusra Front? Wouldn’t you want them to attain their desired end, to become “martyrs” for the cause, whether disposed of by Syrian or Russian bombs, or by Kurdish fighters, or from the bullets of any of a dozen rival Islamist groups?
Mr. Justice Hayden, again: “Why is so much time, money and effort spent in these cases? Why not just let them go?” But he was wrong to be satisfied with the answer his inquiry provided, that “at the end of the day…they [these huge resources] have saved a human life.” That is the kind of sentimentalism, where distinctions between the life of a potential killer and a likely victim of that killer are effaced, that creates moral confusion.
The Al-Nusra Front, and the Islamic State, have helped attract so many dangerous Muslims to Syria (and Iraq), where they have participated in martyrdom operations and achieved their desired end. They will disturb us no longer. Far from trying to keep people from leaving Western Europe on such missions, we should quietly cheer them on and at the very least, certainly do nothing to stop them. They want to die as “martyrs,” and we Infidels should hope that far from Western Europe, and ideally at the hands of others like themselves, they will get their wish. It’s not “lives” we want to save, but the “lives of Infidels.” There is, Mr. Justice Hayden should try to understand, a difference.