London: A number of “disillusioned” Britons fighting for the Islamic State (IS) have approached a British university to regret their decision of travelling to Syria and Iraq to join the Sunni militant group, a media report said.

Professor Peter Neumann of King’s College London said his department has been in contact with a number of British citizens who want to come back to Britain but fear being jailed, London Evening Standard reported.

He said the government should set up a “deradicalisation programme” for those willing former Islamists, echoing calls by Labour leader Ed Miliband who last month suggested a mandatory programme of deradicalisation for those involved on the fringes of IS.

Neumann, who works at the university’s International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, said that one man, claiming to represent 30 other Britons, has contacted the university in the past fortnight to say there is a feeling of disillusionment, as some who
travelled to fight against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria are instead being forced to get involved in fighting among rebel groups.

According to the professor, the IS fighters fear that they would be jailed for many years if they return to Britain and feel they have no other option than to to fight under pressure from the militant group.