Europe battles problem when the ISIS fighters have started to return to their homes, such a process could undermine the social situation, FT reported on Tuesday. Shamima Begum’s case is the bright illustration of the new problem.
Ms Begum made the decision to leave her family and school when she was 15 years, the girl escaped to the Middle East to become the ISIS fighter who defends the faith. Four years after, she is begging for returning London from Syria, saying she understood that ISIS spoiled her life. The 19-year-old gave birth a baby days ago, she has pleaded to be allowed back to the UK but the authorities are not especially glad to her.
The security threat that returnees may pose is a source of mounting concern. Alex Younger, head of MI6, emphasized last week that they were “likely to have acquired the skills and connections that make them potentially very dangerous”.
An individual who spent four years, full of non-stop brain-washing, becomes a real problem. For manipulators, it is much easier to wash the brain of young people whose psychic is unstable. Shamima is just one of the hundreds of teens who have voluntarily chosen to fight for ISIS one day. According to research conducted in 2016, between about 3,900 and 4,300 EU member state nationals had become radicals, most of them from the UK, France, Germany and Belgium, according to a European Parliament report published last year. An estimated 30 per cent had already returned home, the police watch them attentively.
EU, US battle Islamist radicals
The tensions over how big western European countries deal with Islamist radicals who joined Syria’s civil war are longstanding, but they are being brought to a head in the UK, France and Germany.
Donald Trump called this weekend for EU governments to “step up and do the job that they are so capable of doing” by taking the suspects back. Moreover, the planned withdrawal of some 2,000 US troops from Syria has made the issue more urgent.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter.
But the UK, France and Germany have been reluctant to bring home ISIS suspects, fearing that they would pose a security threat upon their return.