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British Prime Minister David Cameron proposed a new law that could revoke passports of individuals suspected of flying to the Middle East to support the “poisonous ideology of Islamic extremism” of ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria. After an estimated 500 British citizens flew to the Middle East to fight alongside similar groups, British Parliament introduced anti-terrorism measures to prevent suspected citizens from reentering the country and even temporary flight bans.

Passport suspension is not an entirely new concept in Britain as the government currently holds the ability to legally obtain passports of citizens leaving the country to participate in terrorist acts. The new proposal only acts as additional security to current legislation that does not infringe on citizens’ rights. Britain also holds the ability to remove citizenship from individuals with dual nationality in an effort to discourage terrorism.

Within the year 69 arrests were made in connection with terrorist activity in Syria, which is a “fivefold rise,” according to Reuters.

Vigilante ISIS supporters are not exclusive to Britain, as America has its own problem with citizens who stand with the group. Don Morgan who traveled to Lebanon in hopes of joining ISIS, and Abdirahmaan Muhumed who died supporting ISIS in Syria, prove there aren’t enough checks to counter would-be terrorists from locating and cooperating with ISIS.

With the recent beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff at the hands of ISIS there is reasonable concern for introducing measures to combat terrorism. ISIS poses an international threat since these beheadings were in addition to numerous Syrian, Iraqi and Lebanese deaths. Given Britain’s history of colonization throughout the Middle East, especially Iraq, anti-terrorism measures may be a necessity.

Although increased security precautions may further promote stereotyping individuals of Middle Eastern descent as terrorists while ISIS is based on the Islamic faith instead of ethnicity, actions need to be taken. Allowing citizens to leave the country to defend ISIS in turn becomes an indirect involvement of terrorist acts on the host country’s behalf. If passport suspension and other anti-terrorism measures discourage ISIS supporters from aiding the international enemy, it is worth risking accusations of discriminatory legislation in this situation. However, it is worth noting that a certain degree of respect would theoretically be considered when checking for potential threats.

In order to assist in the downfall of ISIS, extremists from Britain and America must face consequences to some extent, whether that calls for surrendering their right to reenter the country or their freedom within that country. Cutting off outside support simplifies the already complex situation for military forces to handle.

The effectiveness of the increased anti-terrorism measure will never be known as Cameron dropped support for the plans due to political and even legal opposition. Though Cameron’s proposal was unpopular with the majority, this does not delegitimize his stance that terrorism needs to be fought. While the proposed additions may not be the best solutions the increased awareness brought to this issue may provide the base for an acceptable plan in the near future.

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