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Blowback report

July 17, 2014

Blowback – Foreign Fighters and the Threat they Pose, written by CAGE’s Research Director Asim Qureshi, argues that the threat of ‘blowback’ by fighters returning from Syria is exaggerated and that counter-terrorism measures used to deal with the purported threat are alienating Muslims. The release of the report came just weeks after Sir Richard Dearlove, former MI6 chief, claimed that the government had exaggerated the threat posed by returnees from the war in Syria.
The main points of the report are:
- There is no empirical evidence of blowback because not only have the 58 of the 66 men that have been involved in terrorist plots since 9/11 never trained or fought overseas, they have cited foreign and domestic grievances as the main contributing factor.
- Britons fighting in Syria should be viewed through the prism of international law and not through a counter-terrorism paradigm.
- The threat of terrorism has always existed – The UK government’s foreign and, more recently, its domestic policy has led to the continued threat of terrorism in the UK.