The International Centre for Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) at King’s College London says it has talked to British militants fighting with ISIS who are growing disillusioned with the group’s aims and its infighting with rival opposition factions. One jihadist claiming to represent 30 British fighters with a group linked to ISIS says they would be willing to undergo deradicalisation and submit to surveillance if they were assured of avoiding jail terms on their return. He tells ICSR:
We came to fight the regime and instead we are involved in gang warfare. It’s not what we came for but if we go back [to Britain] we will go to jail. Right now we are being forced to fight – what option do we have?
ICSR director Peter Neumann believes up to a fifth of British jihadists could be looking for a way to disengage from the fighting in Syria:
The people we have been talking to… want to quit but feel trapped because all the government is talking about is locking them up for 30 years.