Just how many Brits do people on the street think have left for Daesh?
Over the last five years, it is believed that around 800 people have travelled to Syria from the UK – with only half of them returning to the UK, according to Home Office statistics.
With media coverage of the continued fight against Daesh (also known as Islamic State) seemingly dominating headlines every other day, are the public aware of the actual statistics?
We went down to The Broadway Shopping Centre in Bradford to ask the public two simple questions: How many people do you think have travelled to Syria from the UK since 2011 – and do the actual statistics surprise you?
The following are their responses, all of which are anonymous upon request of the interviewees.
“I would say around 700 or 800 have gone over. So no, it’s not a surprise to hear that statistic. I think a lot have travelled there and it has not been what they thought it was going to be.
“If anything I would say the actual number is probably higher than 800 because of the amount of people crossing over from Turkey and sneaking into the country.
“I think most people are going to fight with ISIS, rather than against them. I don’t think there are many Asian people who would go. There is quite a lot of racism in the world and I think if someone else attacked them… then on the sly, many people would agree with it.”
“2,000 or 3,000 I would say. 800 is a lot lower than I thought.
“It is over-portrayed in the media and that is probably why. They make it sound like Islamic State is much bigger than it is and I don’t think that helps.”
“I would have no idea. I had heard about 200 people had gone but I don’t really watch the news that much. I see things on Facebook and only see parts of the story. I heard over 100 had gone from Bradford the other day, but I don’t know how true that is.”
“It sounds about right. It’s not in the media too much really, it needs to be reported because it is a big issue. The news always contains Muslims so that is why I think some of the right-wing papers are always so eager to talk about it.”
“From the UK I would say that about 5,000 have gone? I think from Bradford alone there are a few hundred but many of them are charity. I wouldn’t know about the numbers going to fight for Daesh.
“The 800 number is lower than I would have thought. Propaganda has gone mad and that is why people are going over there. Perhaps it needs highlighting even more juts how bad the conditions are.”