So, a citizen from, say, the United States or Britain or France or Australia leaves their home and travels to Syria to fight with ISIS. The citizen may have executed people, held women and children hostage, raped women and, to quote Rory Stewart, the U.K. minister of international development, “by violence, tried to impose their will.”
We are all too aware of the atrocities committed by ISIS recruits and what their goal had been.
But now ISIS has largely been defeated in Syria, and citizens of the aforementioned Western nations who joined the terrorist movement — and survived — are pretty much on their own. They’re on the run, because the U.S. and the other countries mentioned not only don’t want them back, they are intent on killing them.
Reports the CBC: “I’m afraid we have to be serious about the fact these people are a serious danger to us, and unfortunately the only way of dealing with them will be, in almost every case, to kill them,” Stewart told BBC Radio’s John Pienaar last month.
The CBC report also says this: Brett McGurk, former U.S. president Barack Obama’s special envoy for the fight against ISIS, who retains his post under Donald Trump, stated it explicitly on a recent visit to Syria. “Our mission is to make sure that any foreign fighter who is here, who joined ISIS from a foreign country and came into Syria, that they will die here in Syria.”
Does that make sense to you? Do you think it is the right approach in dealing with the “foreign fighters” who joined ISIS?
I’m betting that most people would agree with the policy. I suppose an argument could be made for capturing the individuals and putting them in jail for a very long time. In either case, they would no longer appear to pose a threat.
But Canada is taking a different approach. Apparently, Canada prefers a reintegration policy, and some 60 Canadian ISIS recruits have returned so far and are being “closely monitored.”
A stupid policy?
I’m asking what you think, because I don’t know what to make of it. I would like to trust our security services. I would also like to think that the ISIS recruits have denounced terrorism — and it troubles me that they may have committed heinous crimes against humanity and are not facing the justice system.
What say you?
Photo: Andrew Poulin, of Timmins, Ont., joined ISIS in Syria in 2012. He won’t be coming home: He was killed in 2013.