Police Scotland to identify ‘potential terrorists’

Police are working to identify potential terrorists with links to Scotland who have travelled to fight in Syria and Iraq.

A video released by Islamic State militants showed the killing of James Foley. Picture: AP
A video released by Islamic State militants showed the killing of James Foley. Picture: AP

Counter-terrorism officers say it would be “foolish” to discount the fact that some of those travelling to the countries have links to Scotland, following reports of Scottish jihadists posting on social media sites.

Earlier this year, Abdul Raqib Amin, who grew up in Aberdeen, appeared in an online extremist propaganda video for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) group, now known as Islamic State (IS).

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Police Scotland are working as part of the UK’s counter-terrorism network.

Detective Chief Superintendent John Cuddihy, of Police Scotland’s organised crime and counter terrorism team, said: “Of those British people who have gone to Syria and Iraq to fight it would be foolish to discount the fact that some may have links to Scotland, either as citizens, short-term visitors, through family ties or using Scotland as a point of departure.

“That is why there have been significant efforts here in Scotland to put in place strong security arrangements along with good information and advice which hopefully discourages those that are clearly putting their lives in danger.

“We are also working tirelessly to identify people with links to Scotland who may have gone out there to fight and to make sure that we deal with the implications, if indeed they do return. We maintain close liaison with national and international security partners to enhance our response.

“However, countering the terrorist threat cannot be the responsibility of the police and security partners alone;.

“It’s the collective effort that ensures Scottish communities continue to remain strong and cohesive and that our people recognise the dangers of travelling to places like Syria and Iraq at this time.”