A veteran fighter who gave up the life of a banker in Cambridge has been talking to Sky News about his time in Syria. Mark Gifford, 30, has said people back in the UK really do not appreciate what an evil organisation Islamic State is.

Mr Gifford tells of the time he along with Kurdish forces of the Kurdish Peoples Protection Group or YPG liberated a brothel being used by IS fighters. Inside he found chains where girls as young as 9 had been used as slaves with mattresses strewn on the floor. In his time crossing swords with the Death Cult he describes other horrors of this truly heinous organisation.

With defeat, staring IS in the face on the battlefield in Syria, Mr Gifford says Europeans and in particular, British Jihadis, should never be allowed to return home. IS may be a spent force in a conventional sense militarily but they are by no means finished and will no doubt have instructed fighters returning home to commit acts of terrorism on their home soil. Which is why Mr Gifford is adamant that people returning home especially to the UK should never be allowed back.

Not Just Returnees

Obviously, Mark Gifford is correct in his assertion about warning of the dangers of Jihadis coming back. However, some attacks or foiled attacks in the UK have been British people influenced by Islamic State.

Either through IS propaganda online or in direct planning with the group to commit acts of terrorism.

To be an IS operative you do not have to be a returning Jihadi but one that has grown up in the UK yet hates everything our country stands for.

So is Mr Gifford missing the point about Jihadis well not really he is just highlighting those trying to get back into the UK.

Both homegrown terrorists and those already returned are a major risk to our society.

Mark Gifford is obviously a humanitarian person who believes in the UK and went out to Syria to confront IS and all they stand for. He did not have to do this giving up a cushy life to risk all and I believe he is correct in his views on not allowing these traitors back.

You hear a lot about disgruntled Muslims who left the UK and other European nations to fight for IS. However, you never hear about all those of a Christian or humanitarian belief who went out to Syria to fight IS.

The government classes all UK citizens who leave our country to fight in the Middle East as terrorists. It is easy to see why people like Mark Gifford would be lumped in with British pro-IS fighters. However, some feel that people like Mr Gifford should be allowed back whereas IS returnees should not for the reasons given.


Why are people born and brought up in this country where they have been educated, fed and clothed turning against the UK and joining IS? Many young Muslims growing up in the UK and not just Muslims feel British society has nothing to offer them.

Many are from some of the poorest communities in our country and so turn to crime. Islamic State with its message of a Utopian society gives hope to these forgotten people and this is why they leave our shores.

The question has to be asked then why do people go and out confront fellow Britons fighting for Islamic State. Possibly for many reasons, for example, ex-military people who feel the UK is not doing enough to take on the Jihadis. Maybe from a Christian or humanitarian belief in confronting evil in all its forms even at the risk of their own life.

There are no clear answers sometimes as to why people do what they do and the only certainty is the uncertainty.