ISIS terrorist group has direct links to UK terror cells
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British terrorist groups have “direct links” with the Islamic State in Afghanistan, the defence secretary has revealed.
Speaking on a visit to British troops in Afghanistan, Gavin Williamson gave the first official confirmation that the Afghan wing of the Islamist group, which is also known as IS-Khorasan or IS-K, is communicating and potentially planning attacks with cells in the UK.
He also confirmed that 440 British troops were sent to the country last month to help stabilise the political climate and neutralise the growing terrorist threat posed to Britain as well as to Afghan civilians, following a request from the US, The Independent reports.
The terrorist group’s grip on Afghanistan has been “weakened in recent weeks by the killing of its country head, Abu Sayed Orakzai”, according to the US military.
But Williamson warned that intelligence reports showed that Afghan-based militants were a “consistent” threat to the UK, and that in recent months there have been “countless times when there have been links back to the UK from terrorists in Afghanistan”.
“What we see is a real threat posed by these groups to the UK and we’ve got to be acting as we are to ensure that we do not see future Manchester-style attacks,” he added.
“We consistently see terrorist groups operating here in Afghanistan, [and] evidence of their links back not just to the United Kingdom but to the whole of Continental Europe.”
Last year, the UK’s national coordinator for counterterrorism policing confirmed that around half of the 850 UK jihadists who had left to fight for the Isis and its affiliates had returned to the UK.
Source: The Week