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Cameron heads back to Downing Street after journalist beheading

Cameron heads back to Downing Street after journalist beheading

David Cameron is returning to Downing Street after the "brutal murder" of American journalist James Foley.

A Number 10 spokesman confirmed that the Prime Minister would cut short his summer break to "meet with the Foreign Secretary and senior officials from the Home Office, Foreign Office and the agencies to discuss the situation in Iraq and Syria and the threat posed by ISIL (Islamic State) terrorists."

Earlier the Foreign Secretary said that a British national "appeared" to be involved in a video showing what the Islamic State claim is the killing of Mr Foley.

The militants say the act was in response to US airstrikes in Iraq.

“Obviously on the face of it, it appears to have been a British person," Philip Hammond told the Today Programme. He said the UK would be doing "more analysis to make quite certain that that is the case".

Earlier, Mr Hammond said British authorities were aware that UK citizens could be involved in "atrocities" in Syria and Iraq.

“This may come as news to some people, but it certainly doesn’t come as any news to us," he told BBC Breakfast. "We’re absolutely aware that there are significant numbers of British nationals involved in terrible crimes, probably in the commission of atrocities, making jihad with Isil and other extremist organisations.

"This is something we’ve been tracking and dealing with for many, many months. And I don’t think this video changes anything. It just heightens awareness of the situation which is very grave and which we’ve been working on for many months."

The Foreign Secretary also revealed that the UK was considering putting "limited numbers" of military trainers in Baghdad, and said the UK was "absolutely prepared" to provide "secondary" military assistance to Iraqi Kurds battling the Islamic State.

The Government has so far stressed that there will be no 'boots on the ground' in the country in response to the rise of the militants, who now control swathes of Iraq and Syria.

Speaking on BBC News this morning, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said the Government shold look at strengthening the Prevent extremism programme after the "deeply disturbing incident".

She said: "There is growing concern about the number of British citizens getting involved in this appalling extremism and I think the Government should be doing more to extend the Prevent programme.

"A lot of the community Prevent work has stopped. That needs to be strengthened now to work with families who are desperately trying to prevent their young people getting involved in this sort of terror."

Green Box: Cameron heads back to Downing Street after journalist beheadingClick to open

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