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Repatriating ISIS Detainees: The Need to Act Now (Jasmine El-Gamal, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change 2020)

The fate of foreigners who are caught after travelling to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS is a fiercely contested issue. There are no easy answers and no argument has the benefit of absolute certainty. However, there remains the credible risk of increased radicalisation within Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Iraqi-administered prisons, and the danger of prison breaks and illegal re-entry, sometimes without consequences, into their countries of origin. The fate of ISIS-linked individuals requires a collective response and a proactive plan for managed repatriations. For all countries to avoid catastrophic future scenarios, this is the prudent, if politically difficult, choice.

Left unchecked, increasingly radicalised, unsecured or escaping ISIS-linked individuals could help reconstitute the terrorist threat that took 81 countries and billions of dollars to defeat. The prospect of another multi-billion, multi-nation effort to defeat the next iteration of ISIS should spur countries to accept responsibility for their citizens and do their part to protect the collective security of those affected by terrorism.

You can find the original publication here

Topic: Deradicalization, Victims of terrorism, Foreign Terrorist Fighters, Organized crime, Penitentiary Institutions, Rehabilitation and Re-integration
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