Trudeau Liberals Welcome Back ISIS Terrorists Back to Canada With 'Reintegration Support'
Even the interviewer seemed surprised at the answer Rory Stewart, the U.K. minister of international development, gave about how Britain should deal with citizens who chose to join Islamic State.
"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.
Stewart, a former diplomat, continued: "These are people who are executing people … who have held women and children hostage, who are torturing and murdering, trying, by violence, to impose their will. Our response has to be, when somebody does that, I'm afraid, to deal with that."
Those words may sound chilling, but they reflect a country that's suffered brutal jihadi attacks in recent years, and an understanding that jihadi returnees are a threat. Other countries have come to the same conclusion.
Canadian jihadis in Iraq and Syria face a concerted effort to kill them by the Syrian, Iraqi, U.S., Russian and (recently) Turkish governments, as well as numerous local and foreign-backed militias. But they have so far had little to fear from their own government, either at home or abroad.
The British government, by contrast, has co-operated with the U.S. on drone strikes that killed two of Britain's most notorious ISIS members: Mohammed Emwazi (aka Jihadi John) and Junaid Hussain.
The Sunday Times reports that Britain's Special Air Service, SAS, has been given a "kill list" of British jihadis, including notorious ISIS recruiter and convert Sally Jones, and a dozen others with British university degrees in technical fields such as electronics.
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."
"They're not just talking about it," said Christian Leuprecht, an expert on terrorism and security at Royal Military College in Kingston. "Australia is another country that's taken the same approach, that they would prefer that those individuals who've been identified as foreign fighters not return home."
France, too, is working to eradicate its jihadis. A Wall Street Journal investigation published in May quoted French and Iraqi officials describing French special forces co-operating with Iraqi units to hunt down and kill French jihadis.
Canada: 'Reintegration support'
Canada's Public Safety Department did not respond to a question from CBC News asking if Canada was taking the same approach. Spokesman Dan Brien suggested the government's focus is on changing minds.
"Returning foreign terrorist travellers and their families, specifically women and children, require the appropriate disengagement and reintegration support," he wrote in an email to CBC NewsAt the end of 2015 the government said it was aware of about 180 "individuals with a nexus to Canada" who had travelled overseas to join such groups, and of another 60 who had returned to Canada.
To date only two returnees, Pamir Hakimzadah and Rehab Dughmosh, have been charged with leaving Canada to participate in terrorism. Four more men, some of whom may be dead, have been charged in absentia. To date, no Canadian has been successfully prosecuted for travelling to Syria or Iraq to join a terror group.