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Ex-jihadists can help curb extremism: William Hague

By Gavin Cordon

British jihadists who return to the UK from Syria after becoming disillusioned with the extremists could be used to dissuade others from going to join the conflict, the Leader of the Commons William Hague has said.

The former Foreign Secretary said the authorities would be prepared to assist ex-fighters who come back to the UK, provided they were satisfied as to their "good intentions" and they were not planning attacks in the UK.

His comments come amid reports of Britons who left to join groups like Islamic State becoming disillusioned with the militants but fearing to return home in case they faced arrest.

While Mr Hague acknowledged that there had been more than 200 arrests this year in relation to people travelling to Syria and Iraq, he said that the authorities could also help people who had genuinely given up the struggle.

He indicated that it some cases it could be possible to use the returnees to help deter other British nationals who were considering trying to join groups in the region.

"We haven't had a lot of those people coming back yet and saying they want to be of assistance, but if they do well then of course the Government, the police, the National Health Service, will work with those people and help them to recover and to assist others."

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