London, Feb 24(ANI): The British intelligence service, MI5, has gathered evidence suggesting that as many as 40 young British men, mainly of Somali descent, are fighting alongside al Shabaab, the Somalian militia that is part of Al-Qaeda's loose terror network against UN-backed troops in the devastated country.
Distressingly, up to 60 other young British passport holders may have returned to London after passing through training camps in the war ravaged southwest region of Somalia.
MI5 have advertised for Somali speakers, and the so-called growth of 'clean skin' Britons, including Somali immigrants who move in and out of Mogadishu unnoticed, is causing serious alarm as London prepares to host the Olympics.
"It is easier to disappear in East Africa than Afghanistan. Britain has 250,000 Somalis and they travel back and forth. Anyone wishing to join al-Qaeda and stay off the grid just needs to catch a flight into Nairobi and cross the border to Somalia," The Sun quoted an intelligence source, as saying.
"With British passports they are welcomed with open arms as assets. In terms of big events like the Olympics, operatives like this are a major threat. Not only can they slip back into British life but they are impossible to detect," the source added.
The Royal United Services Institute highlights the links between London and al-Qaeda in Somalia in a report.
Director general Michael Clarke said 'lone wolf' terrorists coming back to Britain after fighting with extremist groups abroad presented the biggest threat.
He added: 'Britons are thought to make up some 25 per cent of the 200 or so foreign fighters that the al Shabaab group in Somalia currently field. (ANI)
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