London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London and first Muslim to hold that position, admitted that between 200 to 400 British jihadis who had trained and fought in Syria for the Islamic State, were allowed back into London and that he does not know their whereabouts.
When pressed by reporters Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, the mayor said he could not “follow 400 people” because he did not have enough police resources, and even though he is the mayor of one of the world’s major cities, he could not fix the situation by himself.
On the June 6 edition of Good Morning Britain, co-host Piers Morgan said, “if you're a football hooligan and you whack a few people at a football match, you get a banning order; if you do it abroad, you get a control order, which means you can't travel. And yet, if you're a Jihadi who wants to go to Syria and fight, against British troops on some occasions, we just let you calmly come back in. Only one of them is under, currently, under one of these control orders.”
Co-host Susanna Reid then said, "And yet 400 have come back out of the 850 who have gone into Iraq or Syria to fight. How do we know how many? I mean, obviously this is a UK problem. You are mayor of the capital city where the most recent terrorist attack has taken place, how many of those 400 have come back to London?"
London Mayor Said Khan said, "Uh, the estimate is just over half so when you look at—”
Morgan then interjected, “Where are they? Seriously where are they? Saidiq did not answer.
Susanna Reid then asked, "How are we letting people back into the UK -- who haven't just been trained, they've actually fought, potentially against our troops -- how are we letting them back in without knowing exactly where they are and what they're up to? Because out of all the thousands of people that we're concerned about, surely those who've actually gone to fight are the biggest risk."
Mayor Khan said, "Well that's one of the reasons why it doesn't make sense for the government to be cutting resources—”
Reid then pressed, "But where are they? You're the mayor of this capital city, where are they?"
Morgan also pressed, "Why can't you instruct the police, why can't you call [garbled] right now and say every one of those people who has come back from a war zone, who are in London, I want them followed?"
"Let me tell you why,” said Khan, “because the Met police budget, roughly speaking, 15 percent to 20 percent, is funded by me, the mayor, the rest comes from central government. If the Met police budget is being shrunk and reduced, they've got to prioritize and use their resources in a sensible, savvy way."
Morgan replied, "What could be a bigger priority than people coming back from a Syrian battlefield with intent to harm British citizens? Why is it not the number one priority? Why are these people allowed to come back in the first place, and then the London mayor doesn't now appear to have a clue where any of them are? I mean, no disrespect to you, but where are they?"
Khan then talked about the police again, stating, "That's one of the questions that, obviously, the police and security services are-- … but this chap here.”
Morgan then said, "Yeah, but you're the mayor! … But Sadiq, you're the mayor of London."
Khan concluded his remarks, "Well sure, but can I tell you, look the three men who were responsible for the attack on Saturday night hadn't come from overseas. They were, for all intents and purposes integrated into our way of life. One of them, as you know, ironically, was an Arsenal fan, so, so we've got a number of problems."
England has experienced 3 terrorist attacks over a 75-day period, two of which occurred in the heart of London.