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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Daesh terrorists hiding in plain sight, warns defence staff chief

Daesh terrorists are “moving in migrant flows” and “hiding in plain sight” all over the world in tactics that should lead Britain to think about how it “manages identity”, the chief of the defence staff has said.

In comments that could reignite the debate around identity cards, Sir Stuart Peach said he was “worried” about the global reach of Daesh militants, who deliberately destroy their identity documents to travel illegally into other countries where they could carry out attacks.

The most senior officer in the armed forces said Daesh, represents the closest danger and a “call to action” going beyond UK and coalition air strikes in Syria and Iraq.

In his first annual lecture to the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Sir Stuart said: “I worry about the global reach of Daesh as an idea – copycat, using the internet – more than the internet – using social media, popping up all over the world.

“The Chinese state has accepted they have a problem.

“This is not now a localised phenomenon, it is now a wider phenomenon.

“And of course we face, as my friend Andrew Parker has said, the director general of MI5, a potential network of combat-experienced terrorists.

“On the other hand they are losing territory rapidly, foreign fighters are being killed and displaced.

“But they are moving in migrant flows, hiding in plain sight.

“One of the obvious deductions, and I think it does bear more scrutiny from the younger and the analytical community, is how we manage identity in a world where people are deliberately trying to destroy their identity documents and/or they move in migrant flows.”

Picture: Chief of the Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Stuart Peach. (Alastair Grant/PA).