United States President Donald Trump has asked a number of US allies to take responsibility and repatriate more than 800 ISIS jihadists that were captured by the US military forces in Syria. Furthermore, Pres. Trump asked that these militants be made to stand trial:
“The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial. The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them.”
The American President’s demands have thrown European allies into a quandary. An impromptu game of musical chairs ensued among the European countries in question.
French Secretary of State for the Interior, Laurent Nunez immediately responded and pointed to the Kurds:
“It’s the Kurds who hold them [the French jihadists] and we have every confidence in their ability to keep them [in detention].”
Apparently, the largest number of European ISIS recruits comes from France but prior to Trump’s statement the French government already rejected repatriation of fighters from Syria.
The foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, referred to them as enemies of the nation who should face justice in Syria or Iraq.
German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, said repatriation can be carried out only if the returning jihadists could be taken into custody immediately. However, this would be difficult because proper investigative processes were never in place.
Alex Younger, the head of UK’s Secret Intelligence Service MI6, has warned that returning British jihadists threatens the country’s security:
“We are very concerned about this because all experience tells us that once someone has put themselves in that sort of position, they are likely to have acquired both the skills and connections that make them potentially very dangerous.”
On Sunday, Belgium’s Minister of Justice, Koen Geens called for calm and for the European nations to ascertain the least risky solution.
The Hungarian foreign minister, Péter Szijjártó, called the issue one of Europe’s greatest challenges over the next few months. He echoed the prevailing sentiment that the jihadists should not be allowed back to Europe.