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'Guilty until proven innocent': Boris Johnson suspicious of any Briton traveling to Iraq, Syria

Published time: August 25, 2014 18:36
Militant Islamist fighters parade on military vehicles along the streets of northern Raqqa province (Reuters)

Militant Islamist fighters parade on military vehicles along the streets of northern Raqqa province (Reuters)

London Mayor Boris Johnson has stated that a “minor” law should be changed: Any British national traveling to Iraq and Syria should be presumed guilty, rather than innocent, according to Johnson.

He further expressed his desire for US Journalist James Foley’s murderer to be killed in a bomb strike.

“We need to make it crystal clear that you will be arrested if you go out to Syria or Iraq without a good reason,”
Johnson declared writing in his Daily Telegraph column entitled: “We’re inviting terror to our front door.”

“The law needs a swift and minor change so that there is a “rebuttable presumption” that all those visiting war areas without notifying the authorities have done so for a terrorist purpose,” Johnson added.

If implemented, his comments would mean that anybody wishing to travel there would have to tell UK authorities about their trip prior to departure or they would automatically be considered a terrorist.

The London Mayor said that he wanted any Britons who are known to be fighting abroad alongside militants to have their citizenship removed.

London Mayor Boris Johnson. (Reuters / Luke MacGregor)

He also declared that it was urgent that the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) be suppressed imminently adding that inaction would result in a “tide of terror will eventually lap at our own front door”.

James Foley was kidnapped in Syria at Thanksgiving in 2012 while working for the GlobalPost agency. In the video entitled 'A message to the US', the 40-year-old journalist denounces his country of birth with a knife to his neck through a speech presumably written by his captors – the ISIS militants, who posted the video on YouTube.

British intelligence agencies have managed to successfully identify the Islamic State militant, according to a Sunday Times “senior government” source. However, the man – who has been going by the name “Jihadi John,” remains unnamed publicly despite some speculations.

“I suspect most of us don’t give a monkey’s what happens to this prat in heaven…we just want someone to come along with a bunker-buster and effect an introduction as fast as possible,” Johnson wrote.

He added that it was necessary for the UK to close ISIS down before its impact became more widespread and before the situation becomes increasingly serious.

“It could get worse still…What is the point of having a defense budget, if we don’t at least try to prevent the establishment of a terrorist ‘caliphate’ that is profoundly hostile to civilized values?” he finished.

On Saturday, UK Home Secretary Theresa May said the UK will strengthen laws to deal with British Islamic militants traveling to the Middle East to fight for IS.

“We will be engaged in this struggle for many years, probably decades. We must give ourselves all the legal powers we need to prevail,” she wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

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