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When it’s right to kill terrorists

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The new defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, has provoked a virulent onslaught from which not even his pet tarantula has been able to save him.

His offence was to state that Britons who have fought for Islamic State abroad were rightly being hunted down and killed to ensure they never returned to Britain from Libya, Iraq or Syria, the breeding grounds for plotting attacks in the UK. “A dead terrorist can’t cause any harm to Britain,” he said. Outrage!

The lethal use of force should always be a last resort. Sometimes, though, there’s no alternative if the innocent are to be protected. The defence secretary’s accusers are in danger of protecting the killers of the innocent instead.

To read my whole Times column (£) please click here.

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