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Europe Refusing to ’Take Back’ its Citizens in ISIS Terrorist Group: Report

Thursday 21 February 2019
Europe Refusing to ’Take Back’ its Citizens in ISIS Terrorist Group: Report

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Alwaght- European countries are reluctant to take back home-grown ISIS terrorsitss fighting in Syria.

Germany pledged on Monday to put its citizens in ISIS on trial, but warned their repatriation would be “extremely difficult”, while France says it would take terrorists back “case by case”.

Germany “must be able to ensure prosecution is possible”, the German defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, said. But the evidence and witness statements needed would be difficult to obtain in Syria as long as there was no government in place with which Berlin had “a sensible relationship”, she said.

The German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said repatriation would be possible only if returning fighters could be immediately taken into custody, which would be “extremely difficult to achieve” without proper judicial information.

Few European countries have embassies in Syria or Iraq or extradition treaties to get their citizens back. Proving people’s identity, and collecting the evidence against suspected fighters that would stand up in a European court, are almost impossible.

France, whose nationals make up the largest contingent of European ISIS recruits, has previously refused categorically to take back fighters and their wives, of whom 150 are thought to be in Syria. The foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, referred to them as “enemies” of the nation who should face justice in Syria or Iraq.

European countries have failed to take timely measures against foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs), which UN defines as "individuals who travel to a State other than their State of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts or the providing or receiving of terrorist training, including in connection with armed conflict".

Last December, Jürgen Stock the general secretary of Interpol  warned thatEurope is facing a new wave of terrorism as radicalised individuals return and terrorists are released from jail

He said: “We could soon be facing a second wave of other Islamic State linked or radicalised individuals that you might call ISIS 2.0.

Stock said Interpol had a database of about 45,000 suspected foreign terrorists but said that locating them was a challenge for police and security agencies.

“The so-called returnees are still a concern for many member countries. Many of those who left, for instance from Europe or Asia, have not yet returned. Some of them have been killed on the battlefield but some of them are missing.

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