Speaking to Express.co.uk, Macer Gifford, who left his job as a currency trader in The City of London in 2015 to pick up a rifle and fight the Islamic State in Syria alongside Kurdish forces expressed deep concerns about the prisons in the region which are holding tens of thousands of incredibly dangerous ISIS leaders and fighters. He issued a stark warning to the UK government saying it was in Britain’s “urgent interest” to do more to prevent the continued mass break outs from prisons that will leave the UK exposed to major terror threats as coward British jihadists try and make their way home.
The former volunteer fighter who served three tours of Syria alongside the YPG (People’s Protection Units) and other Syrian Democratic Forces stressed how the UK must do more to assist brave Kurds who are struggling to keep the terrorist prisoners under lock and key in the region.
Mr Gifford said: “A major thing that will affect Britain moving forward is that there are something like 70 – 80,000 prisoners in Syria at the moment being held by the Kurds.
“The Kurds at the moment are not getting the support they need to keep them detained.
“We did so much to help the Kurds defeat ISIS but then we massively rolled back and forgot to contribute to the economic success of the regions we liberated.”
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The former fighter added how a lack of political recognition of the Kurdish region and the West not inviting Kurdish leaders for proper talks around strategy is a “fundamental mistake” as this lack of support will lead to devastating consequences for the region and eventually for Britain.
He explained: “The danger is, without that support, first of all, the Kurds can’t put on trial and can’t process all these people that committed crimes in their country – that include Britains’ Shamima Begum.
“But it [also] means it risks a massive rejuvenation of ISIS – a mass break out of these camps.”
Macer went on to highlight how this will come about and could quickly spiral out of control.
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He said: “That will spell two things: One is that it will incite a huge amount of violence in Syria and Iraq where these people are being held, where a new frontier, a new fight will be formed.”
But in a sobering warning, he added: “But also it will mean that possibly thousands of fighters coming into Europe, dozens of which are also British, may attempt to return to the UK.”
Mr Gifford highlighted the severity of the situation, explaining how the prisons and camps are a “ticking time bomb” that are “just waiting to explode” and unleash havoc on the region.
He warned: “There have been several mass break outs from the male prisons which hold the worst offenders.”
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The former Kurdish fighter stressed how the situation got so bad that American forces had to intervene and pull out so-called British ISIS terror cell ‘The Beatles’ and take them to stand trial in America.
Speaking of the event, he said: “The fact is, if the American’s can’t guarantee the security of these people – how the hell can we expect a militia on the ground to keep them under lock and key?”
He concluded how it is Britain’s “urgent interest” to come up with a solution to the chaos which could soon be landing back on our streets.
A Government spokesperson at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: “As a leading member of the Global Coalition, our priority is to ensure the safety and security of the UK and we will do whatever is necessary to protect the UK from those who pose a threat to our security.
“The UK works closely with a range of international partners to address the threat posed by Daesh and Daesh fighters. Individuals who have fought for, or supported Daesh, should face justice and accountability through prosecution in the most appropriate jurisdiction, often in the region where the crimes took place.”
“At the Global Coalition against Daesh ministerial meeting in Rome on 28 June 2021, the Foreign Secretary announced £2.6 million of new UK funding to help prevent violent extremism in north east Syria, in support of the Coalition’s Stabilisation Pledge.
“Our response in north east Syria includes supporting displaced populations, including those in IDP camps and settlements. In Al Hol, we support a wide range of activities to help the population, providing assistance through over 6 humanitarian partners in 20/21. This includes basic, life-saving aid such as healthcare, food, hygiene products, child protection and shelter, in addition to informal education support.”
Macer Gifford joined the fight against ISIS in November 2015 at the age of 27.