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Malcolm

Terrorists, Returning Terrorists and Internal Terrorists

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"“The families of 21 Canadian detainees have asked FAVE to help get them out of the northern Syrian camps. The majority of these Canadians are infants and children who are suffering from hunger and illness in frozen tents,” said group’s director, Prof. Alexandra Bain."

 

Too bad for the isis creeps, but their fate should not be a matter of concern for Canadian taxpayers imo.

 

 

 

 

Edited by DEFCON

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Have the old hatreds boiled over again in Northern Ireland?  Let us hope not.

January 20, 2019 / 5:31 AM / Updated 24 minutes ago

Four arrested over Northern Ireland car bomb, New IRA suspected

 

LONDONDERRY, Northern Ireland (Reuters) - Four men were arrested on Sunday over a car bomb attack in Northern Ireland’s Londonderry and police are looking into whether the New IRA militant group was responsible, officers said.

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A forensic officer inspects the scene of a suspected car bomb in Londonderry, Northern Ireland January 20, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Two men in their twenties were detained hours after the explosion on Saturday evening outside the city’s courthouse. Two other men aged 34 and 42 were arrested in the city later on Sunday. No one was injured by the blast.

Hamilton said the main focus of the investigation was on the New IRA - one of a small number of groups opposed to a 1998 peace deal that largely ended three decades of violence in the British-run province. They have carried out sporadic attacks in recent years.

Police in Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland have warned that a return to a hard border between the two after Brexit, complete with customs and other checks, could be a target for militant groups.

Politicians from all sides - including Sinn Fein, the former political wing of the nationalist Irish Republican Army - condemned the explosion.

“SHAME ON YOU”

“Shame on you. Shame on you and stop,” said Mary Lou McDonald, leader of Sinn Fein, which signed the peace agreement. She told BBC Northern Ireland the blast was an “outrageous attack”.

The Northern Ireland police force said it was given only minutes to evacuate children and hundreds of hotel guests before the explosion of what they described as a highly unstable, crude device that could have detonated at any time.

Officers spotted a suspicious vehicle at the scene at about 1955 GMT, then received a warning five minutes later that a device had been left there, the force said.“We moved immediately to begin evacuating people from nearby buildings including hundreds of hotel guests, 150 people from the Masonic Hall and a large number of children from a church youth club,” Hamilton said earlier.

The pizza delivery vehicle was destroyed by the blast ten minutes after that. The van had been hijacked nearby by two armed men around two hours earlier, police said.

CCTV footage released by police showed the driver running from the vehicle after leaving it outside the courthouse.

Hamilton said he thought the attack marked a continuation of militants’ campaigns, rather than an escalation.

Do not hijack Brexit, minister warns Britain's parliament

The last fatal attack involving a car bomb was carried out in 2016 by the New IRA when a prison officer was fatally injured by a device left under his van in Belfast.

About 3,600 people were killed in the conflict that was fought between mainly Protestant unionists who want Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom and predominantly Catholic nationalists.

“There is no doubt that in terms of the Brexit element, there will be a section within our communities who will want to exploit that and use that to further their own objectives but I wouldn’t put that as the sole purpose,” Gary Middleton, a local Democratic Unionist Party member of Northern Ireland’s devolved government, told Reuters.

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One of Trudeau’s unvetted rushed in Migrants from Syria?

 

Father of man arrested in Kingston, Ont., probe says he's told it's 'about terrorists'

The father of Hussam Eddin Alzahabi says his 20-year-old son has been arrested in what he believes is a terror-related investigation in Kingston, Ont.

"They tell me they search about him about terrorists. I know my son, he didn't think about that. He like Canada. He like the safety in Canada. How could he think about that?" Amin Alzahabi, who has been in Canada since 2017, told CBC News in an interview from his home Friday morning.

"Not good, not good."

On Thursday, RCMP arrested two people following raids on two homes in the eastern Ontario city. Sources tell CBC News it's related to a national security investigation.

CBC News has learned the arrests included a minor and involved both Kingston police and the help of the FBI in the U.S. Details about the other person arrested weren't immediately available.

The RCMP said it will hold a news conference today at 1 p.m. ET to update the public on the investigation.

On Thursday, officers could be seen carrying bags of evidence out of the homes.

By Friday morning, the police presence was contained to just one residence.

"It's fake news about my son," Alzahabi said. "I trust my son. I know he cannot do anything against any human, humanity."

"They inspected everything from my house. They didn't find anything," Alzahabi said.

"I think this is not good," he added.

The family, originally from Syria, has been living in Canada since July 2017, Alzahabi said, following time spent in Kuwait from 2008 to 2017. 

According to a bulletin posted to the website of a Kingston-area Catholic church detailing the journey of the Alzahabi family, an ecumenical group of churches helped bring them to Canada through the private sponsorship refugee program in 2016-17.

The church group established a series of committees, including a hospitality and orientation committee composed of parishioners, and raised more than $30,000 to help support the family's transition to life in Canada.

Amin Alzahabi said his son is completing high school upgrades at Loyalist Collegiate & Vocational Institute.

In a statement, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said police took action Thursday "based on credible information, to ensure public safety."

 
rcmp-kingston.jpg
The RCMP have arrested two people following raids on the two homes in what officials are calling a national security investigation.  (Cristiano Vilela)

The minister said the operation has not changed the country's threat level. It remains at "medium," where it has hovered since late 2014.

However, the threat was considered serious enough to involve months of investigation, thousands of hours of police work and the use of a Pilatus PC-12 RCMP surveillance plane that had been circling over Kingston in recent weeks for hours on end, creating a great deal of interest from residents due to the noise.

Spokespeople for both the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice referred all questions to the RCMP.

 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/rcmp-arrests-security-kingston-1.4992518

 

 

 
Edited by Jaydee

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WHAT. ???    NO PARADE ??  NO INSTANT MILLIONAIRE? THE US IS DOING IT ALL WRONG

 

Texas ex-teacher who joined ISIS indicted on terror-related charge

 

Texas man captured in Syria -- where he said he joined the Islamic State -- has been brought back to the U.S. on a terrorism-related charge.

Warren Christopher Clark, 34, appeared before a judge Friday in Houston Federal Court on an indictment accusing him of attempting to provide material support to the terrorist group. The judge ordered Clark held without bail pending a detention hearing Wednesday, according to reports.

U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces gave Clark to the FBI after announcing his capture earlier this month.

The George Washington University's Program on Extremism found Clark had sent ISIS a resume seeking a job as an English teacher.

TEXAS MAN WHO JOINED ISIS WANTED TO 'SEE WHAT THE GROUP WAS ABOUT'

Clark noted noting that he had a bachelor's degree from the University of Houston, worked as a substitute teacher at the Fort Bend Independent School District in Sugar Land, Texas, and had done teaching stints in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, according to the documents that were obtained by the program’s researchers.

"Dear Director, I am looking to get a position teaching English to students in the Islamic State," he wrote in the cover letter. "Teaching has given me the opportunity to work with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and learning capabilities."

Clark's attorney, Michael DeGeurin, said his client would plead not guilty but declined to comment further.

The Houston U.S. Attorney Perrye Turner said Clark faces 20 years in prison if convicted.

2 AMERICANS AMONG 5 ISIS FIGHTERS CAPTURED IN SYRIA, OFFICIAL SAYS

“The FBI continues to aggressively pursue individuals who attempt to join the ranks of ISIS’s foreign fighters or try to provide support for other terrorist organizations," Turner said. "This fight against terrorism is not one we can combat alone."

Clark’s father was in the courtroom but declined comment, the Houston Chroniclereported.

 

https://www.foxnews.com/us/texas-man-who-joined-isis-indicted-for-terrorism

 

REMEMBER THIS IN OCTOBER !!

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Edited by Jaydee

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While it appears that we will give returning terrorists a free ride back to Canada, other countries have very different ideas including our Mother Country.

Shamima Begum: IS runaway teen 'could face prosecution in UK'

Shamima BegumImage copyright PA Image caption Ms Begum was 15 when she left the UK in 2015

A British woman who ran away to Syria as a schoolgirl to join the Islamic State group has been told she could face prosecution if she returns home.

Speaking from a Syrian refugee camp, Shamima Begum, now 19, told the Times newspaper she had no regrets but wanted to come back to the UK as she was nine months pregnant.

In Syria, she married an IS fighter and had two children, who have both died.

Security minister Ben Wallace said she would be investigated if she came back.

In her interview, Ms Begum showed little remorse for her involvement with the terror group, saying she was not fazed by seeing "beheaded heads" in bins.

 

"I don't regret coming here," she told Times journalist Anthony Loyd, who found her in the camp.

"I'm not the same silly little 15-year-old schoolgirl who ran away from Bethnal Green four years ago."

"The caliphate is over. There was so much oppression and corruption that I don't think they deserved victory," she said.

"I just want to come home to have my child. I'll do anything required just to be able to come home and live quietly with my child."

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Media playback is unsupported on your device
 

Anthony Loyd of the Times describes how he found Shamima Begum in a Syrian refugee camp

Exit player
 
Media captionAnthony Loyd of the Times describes how he found Shamima Begum in a Syrian refugee camp

But Mr Wallace said any Britons who had gone to Syria to engage or support terrorist activities should be prepared to be questioned, investigated and potentially prosecuted if they came back to the UK.

He said there was no consular assistance in Syria and insisted he would not be sending British officials there to rescue Ms Begum.

"I'm not putting at risk British people's lives to go and look for terrorists or former terrorists in a failed state," he told the BBC.

Ms Begum was one of three schoolgirls from Bethnal Green Academy who left the UK in February 2015.

Ms Begum and Amira Abase, both 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, flew from Gatwick Airport to Turkey after telling their parents they were going out for the day.

They later crossed the border into Syria.

Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima BegumImage copyright Met Police Image caption Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum (l-r) in photos issued by police

On arriving in Raqqa, Ms Begum stayed at a house with other newly-arrived brides-to-be.

"I applied to marry an English-speaking fighter between 20 and 25 years old," she said.

Ten days later she married a 27-year-old Dutch man who had converted to Islam - and has been with him since then.

The couple escaped from Baghuz - IS's last territory in eastern Syria - two weeks ago.

Her husband surrendered to a group of Syrian fighters as they left, and she is now one of 39,000 people in a refugee camp in northern Syria.

Asked whether living in the one-time IS stronghold of Raqqa had lived up to her aspirations, Ms Begum said: "Yes, it did.

"It was like a normal life. The life that they show on the propaganda videos - it's a normal life.

"Every now and then there are bombs and stuff. But other than that..."

She said that seeing her first "severed head" in a bin "didn't faze me at all".

"It was from a captured fighter seized on the battlefield, an enemy of Islam.

"I thought only of what he would have done to a Muslim woman if he had the chance," she said.

Map of Ms Begum's travels

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Ruled not to be a terrorist, ruled to have a mental illness….. Now allowed less than 3 years later to attend University Classes without any escort.

Quote

He was charged with attempted murder, assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon, as well as carrying a weapon, all for the benefit of a terrorist group.

Judge finds Ali not acting for terrorist group

Last spring, an Ontario judge ruled that while there is no doubt Ali carried out the attack based on his extremist beliefs, the
formation of those beliefs was precipitated by mental illness.

Crown appeals privileges for military centre stabber

Prosecutors say a man found not criminally responsible in a knife attack at a Toronto military recruitment centre should not be allowed to take college classes on his own.
The Canadian Press · Posted: Feb 14, 2019 2:11 PM ET | Last Updated: 4 hours ago
 
ayanle-hassan-ali.jpg
Ayanle Hassan Ali attacked several uniformed military personnel with a large knife in March 2016 and wounded several people before he was overpowered and subdued. (Toronto Police Service)

Prosecutors say a man found not criminally responsible in a knife attack at a Toronto military recruitment centre should not be allowed to take college classes on his own.

The Crown is appealing a decision by the Ontario Review Board, which last year granted Ayanle Hassan Ali permission to attend Mohawk College unaccompanied while he is detained at a secure Hamilton hospital.

It is also challenging the board's decision to ban Ali from attending known military installations or recruitment centres, arguing he should face a more restrictive condition prohibiting contact with any uniformed military personnel.

"A very careful approach was warranted in addressing the respondent's mental condition, reintegration into society, and other needs, in a way that would not imperil the safety of the public," the Crown argues in its submissions.

"The board, however, only cited the needs of the accused and his reintegration when addressing indirect supervision in the community for educational purposes, and failed to advert to, or give adequate consideration to, the paramount factor of public safety."

The case is set to be heard at the Ontario Court of Appeal in Toronto on Friday.

Ali attacked several uniformed military personnel with a large knife in March 2016 and wounded several people before he was overpowered and subdued.

He was charged with attempted murder, assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon, as well as carrying a weapon, all for the benefit of a terrorist group.

Judge finds Ali not acting for terrorist group

Last spring, an Ontario judge ruled that while there is no doubt Ali carried out the attack based on his extremist beliefs, the
formation of those beliefs was precipitated by mental illness.

What's more, the judge found Ali was not acting on behalf of or for the benefit of a terrorist group.

As a result, Ali was cleared on the terror element of the charges and found not criminally responsible on the lesser included
offences.

Months later, Ali appeared before the review board, which annually evaluates the status of anyone found not criminally
responsible or unfit to stand trial for criminal offences due to mental illness.

According to documents filed ahead of this week's hearing, the board found Ali constitutes a significant threat to the public and should continue to be detained at a Hamilton hospital.

However, it also granted Ali privileges to travel through the hospital and grounds, first with staff, then progressing to an
approved companion, then under "indirect supervision," which means being unaccompanied.

The board said Ali could then follow a similar progression into the community for education purposes, namely to go across the street to Mohawk College.

Prosecutors said the board's decision was "unreasonable" given that it was Ali's first review and he has no track record with such privileges.

While Ali has been compliant with his medication and has generally followed the rules in his highly restricted hospital ward,
that is not the same as having "unsupervised access" to the college, the Crown said.

Mental status was improving, documents say

It noted that since military personnel could be at the college, the board should have imposed a condition barring Ali from
contacting any of them, particularly in light of his "residual symptoms."

Ali's psychiatrist testified at the board hearing that his patient continued to take his medication and his mental status was
improving, the documents said.

He testified Ali accepts that he has schizophrenia and knows the symptoms of his illness, except for residual thoughts that he is being monitored by the Canadian government, which he is not convinced stems from his illness.

The doctor added Ali still has concerns about the Canadian government's actions overseas towards Muslims but has not expressed any more desire to achieve martyrdom by attacking Canadians.

It appears Ali's illness first manifested in 2003 when his mother, who also has schizophrenia, was in a state of psychosis, the documents said. He began experiencing obsessions and compulsions as a teen as well as intrusive chatter in his head, they said.

His parents then separated and Ali started living with his mother, who called him several times a day accusing him of poisoning her and warning that he was in danger, the documents said.

His sense that the government was monitoring him intensified over the years and caused him to quit his job, the documents said. He stayed home with his mother, who was not well, in the weeks leading up to the attack.

Ali hoped to leave the country with his mother and decided to get his passport, they said. It was while attending the passport office that he discovered the military recruitment centre and "began to think that it was the place he would achieve martyrdom."

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This comment from a Veteran. “ My personal opinion only from a Veterans point of view:  
They left our country to fight for our country’s enemy.  They are defacto traitors to Canada.  No government of Canada no matter what political stripe should be obligated to repatriate them citizens or not.  They gave up their citizenship the minute they left Canada to commit barbarous  treason   They should should face the rough "Islamic" justice they meted out to so many innocents all over the region.”

 

What to do with suspected Canadian ISIS fighters and their families detained in Syria?

Security expert says Canada has put off the question for years, but circumstances now require an answer

 
diana-swain.jpg
Diana Swain · CBC News · Posted: Feb 15, 2019 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 4 hours ago
 
mohammed-abdullah-mohammed.jpg
A video was recently released of Toronto's Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed, after he was captured by Kurdish forces battling ISIS in Syria. (CBC)

The Canadian government should have seen this coming, says international security expert Christian Leuprecht.

The Royal Military College professor says Canada could have planned for what to do when its own citizens — ISIS members, their wives and children — were captured or surrendered on the battlefield in Syria.

"For years, governments of both political stripes had the opportunity to anticipate that we were going to find ourselves in this position and instead ... just kind of hoped the issue would go away," said Leuprecht, who also teaches at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont.

Now, as a result of the U.S.'s planned withdrawal from Syria, there's some urgency to the question of what to do with Canadians detained in the war-torn country.

 

As many as 5,000 alleged ISIS fighters and their families are being held in makeshift prisons in Syria. The number is swelling daily as ISIS loses its final strongholds in eastern Syria.

CBC News has determined that as many as 32 Canadians are currently held by the U.S-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led group that's been fighting ISIS.

Some of the Canadians in custody were captured in battle, including Toronto's Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed, who was taken by the SDF in a firefight last month.

 

Others include two women believed to be from Ontario and Alberta, who surrendered to the SDF along with their children last week after fleeing one of the last ISIS-controlled villages in Syria.

 

But the U.S. says it's pulling out of Syria soon, leaving the SDF to fight on its own. The militia says it can't protect the thousands of prisoners while also protecting itself.

 

The U.S. has tried to soften the impact of its departure by supporting the SDF's call on other countries to repatriate their prisoners.

 

France is the first Western country to respond. It's believed to have moved 80 of 130 citizens back to France, all to be prosecuted for joining ISIS.

 
cabinet-retreat-20190118.jpg
Public Security Minister Ralph Goodale says the government hasn't decided what it will do about Canadian citizens detained in Syria. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

 

"We've heard the request," Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said last week, while insisting Canada won't be rushed into a decision.

 

"The fact of the matter remains that is a dangerous and dysfunctional part of the world, and we do not intend to endanger the lives of our consular or diplomatic officials," he said.

 

Gathering battlefield evidence

 

And if suspected militants are returned to Canada, prosecuting them for their actions overseas presents significant challenges.

 

It is illegal to leave or attempt to leave Canada to help a group to commit terrorism. But prosecutors will still need to prove their case.

 

Canada has been working with its Five Eyes intelligence partners — the U.S., Britain, New Zealand and Australia — to share available evidence.

 

Goodale acknowledges that obtaining evidence from the battlefield is difficult.

 

"We all have the same set of problems in terms of the collection of usable evidence," he said. "How can we collaborate with each other to make sure that our laws are enforceable and that charges will stick?"

 

Reintegration or prosecution?

 

Leuprecht says Canada could have acted sooner, toughening its laws to make it easier to prosecute returning fighters. Australia, for example, made it illegal simply to travel to some places without prior permission from the government.

 

 

He also says many of the Canadian mothers and children in custody could be candidates for reintegration, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke of in the House of Commons back in 2017.

 

"We also have methods of de-emphasizing or deprogramming people who want to harm our society, and those are some of the things we have to move forward on," Trudeau said at the time.

 
christian-leuprecht.jpg
Prof. Christian Leuprecht of the Royal Military College of Canada says the federal government has put off addressing the question of what to do with Canadians captured on the battlefields of Syria for years. (CBC)

 

But getting them back to Canada wouldn't be easy.

 

Syria, after all, is still a war zone.

Leuprecht suspects Canadian Forces are already gaming out how to escort the Canadians out of Syria.

If the government were to go ahead with such a mission, it would face some hard questions from Canadians, he said.  

 

"They might have even harder questions if the government funds and takes the risk of a mission to extract these folks and the mission goes pear-shaped and Canadian members are wounded or killed."

 

A right to a passport

 

In an email to CBC, Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Richard Walker said Canadian diplomats have established a communication channel with local Kurdish authorities to try to verify the "whereabouts and well-being of Canadian citizens."

 

"While every Canadian citizen — no matter how reprehensible — has the legal right to 're-enter' Canada, the Government of Canada has no legal obligation to facilitate their return," Goodale said in a speech last month.

 

Immigration lawyer Lorne Waldman believes Canada has a duty to provide any citizen a passport, if they request one.  

"But that doesn't necessarily mean they have to pay for their ticket and all these other steps that might be necessary to get the people out," he said.

Unless, he says, a detainee can prove they are in danger if left in a prison camp. 

 

The federal government insists it has reached no decision yet on bringing anyone back.

 

Either way, a question that's been quietly building for years seems to now require an answer.

 

 

 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/isis-canadians-syria-prosecutions-1.5019971

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Earlier, security minister Ben Wallace told the BBC he would not risk any British officials' safety trying to bring back Ms Begum, who is currently in a refugee camp in northern Syria.

But Mr Wallace said any Britons who had gone to Syria to engage or support terrorist activities should be prepared to be questioned, investigated and potentially prosecuted if they came back to the UK. The home secretary says those who left Britain to join IS were "full of hate for our country".

He said there was no consular assistance in Syria and insisted he would not attempt to rescue Ms Begum.

"I'm not putting at risk British people's lives to go and look for terrorists or former terrorists in a failed state," he told the BBC.

Will Shamima Begum be allowed to return to the UK?

Analysis box by Dominic Casciani, home affairs correspondent

Shamima Begum was legally a child when she pinned her colours to the Islamic State mast.

And if she were still under 18 years old, the government would have a duty to take her and her unborn child's "best interests" into account in deciding what to do next.

But she's now an apparently unrepentant adult - and that means she would have to account for her decisions, even if her journey is a story of grooming and abuse.

Another British jihadi bride, Tareena Shakil, who got out of the war zone with her child, lied to the security services on her return and was jailed for membership of a terrorist group.

If Ms Begum got out of the country, that is the kind of charge she could face - along with encouraging or supporting terrorism.

But that's a long way off. Assuming she made it to an airport, the UK could temporarily ban her from returning until she agreed to be investigated, monitored and deradicalised.

Social services would also certainly step in to consider whether her child should be removed to protect him or her from radicalisation.

Presentational grey line

In her interview, Ms Begum talked about Kadiza Sultana who accompanied her to Syria.

She said her school friend had died in a bombing on a house where there was "some secret stuff going on" underground.

"I never thought it would happen. Because I always thought if we got killed, we'd get killed together," she added.

A lawyer for Ms Sultana's family said in 2016 that she was believed to have been killed in a Russian air strike.

'Overprotective'

Ms Begum said losing her two children came as a shock. "It just came out of nowhere, it was so hard."

Her daughter died at the age of one year and nine months and was buried in Baghuz a month ago.

Her second child died three months ago at just eight months old of an illness compounded by malnutrition, the Times reports.

She said she took him to a hospital but there were no drugs and not enough staff.

She said she was now "really overprotective" of her unborn child and was scared it would become ill if she stayed in the refugee camp.

"That's why I really want to get back to Britain because I know it will be taken care of - health-wise, at least," she said.

Her family back in the UK told lawyer Tasnime Akunjee they wanted "time and space to process what's happened".

 

The BBC asked people in London's Bethnal Green, where Shamima Begum went to school, whether she should be allowed back to the UK

Media captionWe asked people in Bethnal Green, where Shamima Begum used to go to school, whether the teenager should be allowed back to the UK

Dal Babu, a former Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent, said it should be remembered that Ms Begum was groomed as a child to become a radicalised woman and was a "victim of brainwashing".

Lord Carlile, a former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said Ms Begum would have to be accepted back into the UK if she had not become a national of any other country.

Under international law, it is not possible to render a person stateless.

He said he thought it was unlikely she would be allowed to return quickly and expected that, if tried for any offences, she would be tried as an adult, he told BBC Radio 5 Live's Emma Barnett.

Sir Peter Fahy, a retired senior police chief who led the Prevent terrorism prevention programme at the time the girls ran away, said he could understand why the government was "not particularly interested" in facilitating her return.

"If the woman was showing complete remorse, it would be completely different," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

It would cost a "vast amount of money" and the biggest challenge would be for local police to keep her safe and ensure she did not become a lightning rod for both right-wing extremists and Islamic extremists, he added.

IS has lost control of most of the territory it overran, including its strongholds of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.

However, fighting continues in north-eastern Syria, where the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) say they captured dozens of foreign fighters in recent weeks.

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‎Today, ‎February ‎15, ‎2019, ‏‎13 minutes ago
 

British people who fought for ISIS won’t be welcomed back home, says Home Secretary

 
‎Today, ‎February ‎15, ‎2019, ‏‎19 minutes ago | The Associated Press

LONDON — Britain’s Home Secretary has warned he’ll block the return of Britons who travelled to the Middle East to join the Islamic State group.

Sajid Javid’s comments come amid a furious debate about Shamima Begum, who ran away to join extremists when she was 15. Begum, who is now nine months pregnant, told The Times newspaper that she wants to come home.Javid told the newspaper on Friday that he “will not hesitate” to prevent the return of Britons who “supported terrorist organizations abroad.” Others have appealed for mercy, noting Begum’s age when she fled.

Begum was one of three schoolgirls from London’s Bethnal Green neighbourhood who went to Syria to join IS in 2015 at a time when the group’s online recruitment program lured teenage girls to its self-proclaimed caliphate.

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The political problem of Canadian Daesh supporters

 

  • Toronto Star
  • 18 Feb 2019
  • Twitter: @tomwalkom
img?regionKey=O2PzW61%2foA7XS3JLp4gguw%3d%3dFADEL SENNA AFP/GETTY IMAGES Mohammad Ali, a 28-year-old Canadian jihadist captured by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, at a detention centre in Syria earlier this month. It’s estimated that there are dozens of Canadians imprisoned in Kurdish-controlled Syria.

The federal government is refusing to actively repatriate Canadian Daesh fighters and their families captured abroad. It may not be able to hold out forever.

The question of what to do with Canadian citizens who travel abroad to join terror groups like Daesh (also known as ISIS), has never been fully sorted out.

The government cannot legally bar a Canadian citizen from returning home. It can charge those who aided Daesh once they are back in Canada. But it must prove its case in court — not always a simple task when the alleged crimes occurred half a world away.

For the governing Liberals, who campaigned on the slogan that Canadian citizenship is sacrosanct, the fate of returning Daesh supporters was always a political problem.

But as long as the alleged fighters were returning home in dribs and drabs, it was a manageable one.

Now, with the final collapse of Daesh’s so-called Syrian caliphate, the problem has moved front and centre.

In particular, what is the government to do with the wives and children of Daesh fighters, some of whom are already pleading for help from Canada to get home?

Last week, CNN interviewed two Canadian women — a college student from Toronto and a graphic designer from Alberta — who voluntarily came to Daesh-controlled Syria, where they married and had children. The two have since surrendered to Kurdish forces fighting Daesh and now want to come home.

A few days later, CTV reported on a Canadian man imprisoned by the Kurds, who spent four years fighting for Daesh and who also wants to return home.

On Tuesday, the Daily Mail published an interview with a 46-year-old Canadian woman called Kimberley, who said she had travelled to Daesh-controlled Syria for “humanitarian” motives and who now wants to come home.

It’s estimated that there are somewhere between 27 and 32 Canadians imprisoned in Kurdish-controlled Syria. The number is expected to rise.

Roughly half of those in custody are children under the age of eight, according to the organization Families Against Violent Extremism.

In a report released late last year, the federal government estimated that about 190 Canadians with ties to terrorism are living abroad. About 60 more have already returned home.

Up to now, the federal government’s position on would-be returnees has been one of studied indifference. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale notes that it is dangerous for consular officials to travel into Syria to visit Canadian citizens detained there. Repatriating those who voluntarily travelled abroad to join Daesh, he says, is not a high priority for the Liberal government.

In this, Canada echoes the position of countries such as Britain and Germany.

But the luxury of doing nothing may be coming to an end. The Kurdish fighters don’t have the facilities to house Daesh prisoners and their families indefinitely. They are pressing Western countries like Canada to take responsibility for their own citizens.

On top of this, U.S. President Donald Trump is preparing to withdraw all American forces from Syria — a move that would leave the Kurds there vulnerable to attack from their age-old enemy Turkey.

The simplest solution for the Kurds is to release all of their Daesh prisoners and let them resume their terrorist activities somewhere else.

The Americans are not partial to this solution. The U.S. wants Canada and others to repatriate their citizens and try them on terror charges at home. According to the New York Times, Saudi Arabia is already taking Washington’s advice and France plans to do so.

As well, Canada’s courts might have something to say about Ottawa’s refusal to repatriate Canadian citizens.

In 2009, a federal court judge forced Ottawa to bring home Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Canadian with alleged terror ties, who was stranded in Sudan. The judge ruled that by throwing up roadblocks to Abdelrazik’s return, the government had violated his charter rights.

Incidentally, the terror allegations against Abdelrazik were eventually found to be groundless. It is possible that the allegations against some or all of the so-called Daesh families stranded abroad are equally untrue.

For the Liberals, who campaigned on the slogan that Canadian citizenship is sacrosanct, the fate of returning Daesh supporters was always a political problem

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2 hours ago, Malcolm said:

the fate of returning Daesh supporters was always a political problem

How so? The concept that a Canadian is a Canadian is governing according to their stated values.

Those values either have merit or they don't, you is or you isn't.... pretty simple really, Liberals only need to decide if their values are valuable or not. If you subscribe to those values, the solution is a given and the discussion is moot. How simple is this? Way past time for Liberals to grow up and walk the talk.

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He left Canada to join a  jihad, groups that also fought against Canadian Troops,  so I say let him reap what he sewed and enjoy the justice of the land he went to.  No return to Canada.

‎Today, ‎February ‎18, ‎2019, ‏‎18 minutes ago
 

The English voice of the Islamic State steps out of the shadows. He’s a Canadian

 
‎Today, ‎February ‎18, ‎2019, ‏‎28 minutes ago | The New York Times

HASAKA, Syria — More than four years ago, the FBI appealed to the public to help identify the narrator in one of the Islamic State group’s best-known videos, showing captured Syrian soldiers digging their own graves and then being shot in the head.

Speaking fluent English with a North American accent, the man would go on to narrate countless other videos and radio broadcasts by the Islamic State, serving as the terrorist group’s faceless evangelist to Americans and other English speakers seeking to learn about its toxic ideology.

Now a 35-year-old Canadian citizen, who studied at a college in Toronto and once worked in information technology at a company contracted by IBM, says he is the anonymous narrator.

That man, Mohammed Khalifa, captured in Syria last month by a U.S.-backed militia, spoke in his first interview about being the voice of the 2014 video, known as “Flames of War.” He described himself as a rank-and-file employee of the Islamic State’s Ministry of Media, the unit responsible for publicizing such brutal footage as the beheading of American journalist James Foley and the burning of a Jordanian pilot.

“No, I don’t regret it,” Khalifa said from a prison in northeastern Syria. “I was asked the same thing by my interrogators, and I told them the same thing.”

isis_english_narrator_4.jpg?w=640&h=427

For years, an anonymous narrator extolled the Islamic State’s brutality in videos seen around the world. “I don’t regret it,” says Mohammed Khalifa, a Canadian citizen.

A thin, diminutive man who occasionally broke into a grin during the hours long conversation with The New York Times, Khalifa said he immigrated as a child from Saudi Arabia to Toronto, where he learned to speak much like a native Canadian. He said he had studied computer systems technology and worked for a contracting company before leaving for Syria — drawn to the battlefield by watching YouTube.

Terrorism experts say it is hard to overstate the role his effortless English narration played in bringing the terrorist group’s propaganda to English speakers and luring some of them to its cause.

“His voice is the most recognizable English-speaking voice to have ever appeared in Islamic State propaganda,” said Charlie Winter, a senior research fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College London.

img_0392.jpg?w=640&h=480

The English narrator, now identified as a Canadian, Mohammed Khalifa, speaks as Syrians dig what he describes as their graves in the video Flames of War.

The release of the “Flames of War” video on Sept. 19, 2014, marked a turning point for the Islamic State group, coming less than three months after the founding of the group’s caliphate. Until then, the group had published shorter, less ambitious videos.

Filmed in part by an Islamic State fighter equipped with a GoPro camera, the 55-minute video was the first to create an immersive experience, showing a soldier digging a trench before an operation, conducting surveillance and then engaging and overrunning the enemy. Because it was narrated in English, it became a touchstone for recruits from Australia, Britain and North America, according to Winter.

For Khalifa it was the beginning of a prolific career. The sum of his narration work — believed to include dozens of audio and video clips — serves as a sampling of the Islamic State’s most influential English-language propaganda.

 

 

“He is a symbol — the voice coming out of ISIS, speaking to the English-speaking world, for the better part of the last four to five years,” said Amarnath Amarasingam, a prominent researcher in Toronto who studies radicalization in Canada, using an alternative name for the Islamic State group.

Khalifa is now among hundreds of Islamic State fighters from approximately 50 countries who are locked in prisons in northern Syria. Thousands of their wives and children are being held in detention camps, free to move among the tents but unable to leave. Khalifa said he had married in the caliphate and had two children, though it was unclear where they were now.

Canada is one of many countries that have been reluctant to take back their citizens, worried that battlefield evidence may be deemed inadmissible in court, making it difficult to secure prosecutions.

isis_english_narrator_2.jpg?w=640&h=427

Muhammed Ali, a captured fighter for the Islamic State who helped identify the English-speaking narrator of some of the group’s films, at an office near the detention facility where he is being held by American-backed militia in northern Syria, Jan. 31, 2019.

A month after his capture, Khalifa’s future was uncertain. He said he had not received a visit from Canadian authorities or been offered consular help. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police declined to comment on his detention, as did the Canadian foreign ministry. The FBI also declined to comment.

Amarasingam, the Toronto researcher, was among the first to take an interest in the unnamed narrator’s possible Canadian connection, after noticing the distinct accent of the speaker in an Islamic State video boasting about the 2015 attacks in Paris.

“I thought, this guy sounds like people I grew up with,” Amarasingam said.

Later, on a research trip to Syria, Amarasingam and journalist Stewart Bell, a former National Post reporter now employed by Global News, were given access to a Canadian fighter captured nine months ago. The combatant, Muhammed Ali, said he had met and befriended the narrator, describing him as a Canadian of African descent who used the nom de guerre Abu Ridwan.

Canadian captured in Syria admits to role in gruesome ISIS execution videos https://t.co/uButpwExoI

— Stewart Bell (@StewGlobal) February 16, 2019

 

In an interview with The Times, Ali agreed to listen to an audio recording of the recently captured Khalifa. “That’s him,” he exclaimed. Ali said Khalifa’s identity as the narrator was not widely known in the caliphate.

“That’s not something he shares,” Ali said. “But once you speak to him, it’s obvious.”

In a two-minute televised statement after being captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces, Khalifa identified himself as an Islamic State fighter and gave his name as Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed, which follows the Arab naming convention of his first name followed by his father’s and grandfather’s names. He admitted to attacking the local Kurdish militia but made no mention of his role as the narrator.

The brief statement was enough for analysts to recognize the voice as that of the narrator, though officials with the militia group said Khalifa initially denied his role.

In the interview with The Times, Khalifa spoke in the presence of two Kurdish prison officials, who recorded the exchange but did not interfere. He clarified that his legal name was Mohammed Khalifa, a detail confirmed by Amarasingam, who has been in touch with one of his childhood friends in Canada. Khalifa played down his significance in the Islamic State and insisted that he had not appeared in any execution videos beyond providing the voice-over narration, a claim that could not be immediately verified since most executioners wore masks.

isis_english_narrator_1.jpg?w=640&h=427

Mohammed Khalifa, a Canadian citizen who says he is the narrator of multiple English-language Islamic State videos, at an office near the detention facility where he is being held by American-backed militia in northern Syria, Feb. 5, 2019.

He said he was born in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, to parents of Ethiopian descent, earned a diploma in computer systems technology from Seneca College in Toronto and led an unremarkable work life as an information technology specialist, including for Kelly Services, an IBM contractor. IBM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reached by phone, Kelly Services confirmed that a Mohammed Khalifa was contracted by the company from May 2009 to April 2010 in Markham, Ontario. Seneca College declined to comment.

By 2013, Khalifa was listening to online lectures by Qaida propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki. He said they convinced him of the necessity of jihad. But it was a YouTube video, not unlike the ones he would later narrate, that helped him make the leap. It showed a group of British fighters speaking English on the front line in Syria, he said, giving him the sense that he could fit in.

Khalifa said he crossed into Syria in 2013 and initially joined the Muhajireen wal Ansar Brigade led by Omar al-Shishani, a Georgian militant who would become the Islamic State’s minister of war. The brigade pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in late 2013, and before the caliphate was declared in 2014, Khalifa said he had already begun working for the group’s media ministry, among the most crucial organs of the terrorist state.

He said he was initially employed as a translator, helping render Arabic copy into English, before being asked to work as a narrator. Asked which videos he worked on, he initially demurred, before quietly answering, “Like ‘Flames of War.’”

mideast_iraq_edited-1.jpg?w=205&h=300

A file photo from Iraq’s Interior Ministry claiming to show Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

The media unit, he said, was led by Abu Muhammad al-Furqan, an Iraqi confidant of the Islamic State’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The media chief, killed in an airstrike in 2016, was intimately involved in vetting the group’s work, reviewing scripts and requesting edits, Khalifa said.

The chief insisted that the execution videos feature a diversity of killers, so no single participant rose in prominence above others. A camera team roamed the caliphate scouting for the ideal executioners, Khalifa said. They were especially keen to find people from different nationalities to underscore the group’s global reach.

“The intention was to not make anyone into a celebrity,” Khalifa said.

The team staged the executions, capturing the scene using still cameras, GoPros and drones, and then delivered the raw footage on an SD card to the media unit’s office, inside a villa on the Euphrates 12 miles outside Raqqa, Syria.

There, he said, an editing team pored over the footage, storyboarding the narrative arc and adding sound effects and narration.

Khalifa claimed that he had had no role in filming or carrying out the scenes he narrated, which included deploying underwater cameras to capture the staged drowning of prisoners.

“I was just the voice,” Khalifa said, insisting that his work was confined to the studio.

He said he was chosen for that role by an Australian supervisor who went by the name of Abu Abdullah.

“He would give me a text, like a script, and I would review it for mistakes, and then we would record,” he said. “He would then review it and see if there was anything that he would like me to place emphasis on.”

At first, Khalifa said, the audio was recorded in a professional studio, with walls made of foam to absorb ambient sound. They used the software Magix Samplitude to edit the sound, and the finished productions were broadcast through a portable satellite dish.

But that all changed with U.S. airstrikes in late 2014, Khalifa said. They had to relocate to urban centers starting with Raqqa, moving from house to house, aware that the proximity to civilians helped protect them.

As the Islamic State’s territory shrank, the media team was pushed out of Raqqa, but remained active, carrying the satellite dish with them, he said. They worried that the dish might give them away, but they continued transmitting nonetheless. In the final weeks before his capture, Khalifa estimated, there were at least 20 media operatives in the group’s last pocket in Syria, which has since been reduced to a tiny patch of land.

“Guys I knew agreed to work out of their homes,” he said. “They still took the risk.”

By the time he was apprehended last month, Khalifa said he had stopped working for the media unit and had picked up a Kalashnikov rifle to defend the Islamic State. Officials with the Syrian Democratic Forces said he had tried to attack their position. Khalifa said he had approached a villa, entering from below while soldiers were on an upper floor.

After a protracted gunfight, he said, he was bleeding and alone. The videos he had narrated were full of bravado, his voice representing a group that had vowed never to give up. But after more than six defiant years in the battle zone, Khalifa said, he did something that he never thought possible.

“I was exhausted. My ammo was gone,” he said. “They kept calling on me to surrender, and so I threw down my weapon.”

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19 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

He left Canada to join a  jihad, groups that also fought against Canadian Troops,  so I say let his reap what he sewed and enjoy the justice of the land he went to.  No return to Canada.

 

You are at odds with Canadian Liberal values. Had I suggested this a short time ago, the screams would echo across the pond and people on this very forum would be wailing and gnashing their teeth. The only thing that has changed here is threshold of experience and that experience still lacks experience. When those who wanted this (demanded this) are ready to apologize, I'm ready to listen. Until then, it's all fluff.... just ask those troops.

Edited by Wolfhunter

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21 hours ago, Wolfhunter said:

 

You are at odds with Canadian Liberal values. Had I suggested this a short time ago, the screams would echo across the pond and people on this very forum would be wailing and gnashing their teeth. The only thing that has changed here is threshold of experience and that experience still lacks experience. When those who wanted this (demanded this) are ready to apologize, I'm ready to listen. Until then, it's all fluff.... just ask those troops.

Proud to be at odds with "the Liberal Party" values.  I don't buy their values as applying to most Canadians and the recent polls reflect that.

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8 hours ago, Malcolm said:

Proud to be at odds with "the Liberal Party" values.  I don't buy their values as applying to most Canadian and the recent polls reflect that.

50% support in the Maritimes (more than enough if projected across the country and adjusted for regional disparity).... welcome to the Conservative Party.

The PPC will split the conservative vote and the NDP will prop the Liberals; Liberal minority will result. If not, AEF lunch (for top 10 contributors) is on me next motorcycle voyage through Ontario. Pick a pub.... maybe during lunch someone can explain to me how it is that Liberal values routinely prove unable to survive first contact with Liberal voters. 

Edited by Wolfhunter
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My values are my Canadian values, not the Liberal values. Everyone who voluntarily left to fight, marry or anything else to/for ISIS I would immediately refuse them return or citizenship.

 

Watching the CTV news last night I just got more and more disgusted. I have zero empathy for these losers.

 

Now on 60 Minutes last night they had a report on the return of some of the girls/women that boko haram kidnapped. I will support those people financially, emotionaly  or any other way I can.

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It just seems that this has gone full circle. By re-suggesting what I have always suggested I perceive that I’m suddenly more Liberal than the Liberals who previously screamed racist at me. It’s all pretty simple IMO  because my opinion hasn’t changed a bit.

If you went overseas to pursue terrorist activities (or support them) and you have dual citizenship, your Canadian citizenship should be revoked. If you only hold Canadian citizenship, you return here and are prosecuted under existing terrorism laws. Revoking citizenship because you don’t like the crime seems indefensible to me in anything other than a dual citizenship scenario.

Many staunch Liberals I know seem to now share the "revoke citizenship" idea and,I find it hypocritical. How did I go from yesterday's racist to todays Liberal? The question is rhetorical, their values changed as a result of them being tested and it reinforces my notion that citizenship given too easily can be seen to be easily revoked. The first step here is no dual citizenship and no hyphenated Canadians. Sacred seems like the wrong word, but Canadian citizenship should be held in higher regard than it (seems to me) currently is. I want to see these guys in jail.... not the value of citizenship eroded. And, once (just once) I would like to see Liberal values actually mean something to Liberals when put to the test. Perversely, about the only thing I admire about JT or can point to as an example (of Liberal values maintained) is the fact that he didn't close the safe third country loophole (because I would have immediately). 

Edited by Wolfhunter

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Trudeau didn’t close the loophole for any liberal reason/value other than trying to outdo trump on the world stage....and once the flood started he sacrificed our borders in favour of his persona on the world stage. Imo.

trudeau has always tried to impart that we, as Canadians, have so much to teach the rest of the world. The ego of this guy makes me wretch.

 

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The invitation he Tweeted was certainly in defiance of Trump.

The loophole (if I can call it that) is an entirely different critter, it was preexisting, has nothing to do with TDS and is part of the safe third country agreement. It should have been corrected the second it was seen to be abused…. it wasn’t and still isn’t. The hypocrisy of sending the invitation, opening the door and then slamming it shut was likely too much for them after all the media accolades. Regardless, it’s a courageous policy in full support of the values he chose to virtue signal and those signals were widely applauded by party supporters. I would have squashed it like a bug on the first day. The fact that he didn't stands as courageous regardless of motivation or the fact I consider it foolish; as does the decision of Toronto to adopt the mantle of sanctuary. 

The Tweet itself was childish and should never have happened IMO.  The loophole, coupled with sanctuary city status made it all worse. These people were invited and Toronto's status was part of the invite. There was no other possible outcome so again I say to Toronto, "grow up and pay your bills."

Edited by Wolfhunter

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The agreement wouldn’t have had to be amended....just prevent migrants from wandering in anywhere along the border. Have in place a true border security and advise migrants to go to a bona fide crossing.

The present circumstance has reduced our border and sovereignty to joke status.

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50 minutes ago, st27 said:

.just prevent migrants from wandering in anywhere along the border.

The whole point is that The Safe Third Country Agreement only applies to people who make a refugee claim at a Port of Entry on the US-Canada border.  Even if Canadian border officials come upon the person right at the border, the Agreement does not apply if they are not at a Port of Entry. At other than "points of entry" they can make a refugee claim and it is handled accordingly. So, I couldn't disagree more.... It needs to be amended IMO. Cheers

Edited by Wolfhunter

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I like the Swiss approach:

 

Swiss would prefer Islamic State fighters tried on site: minister

 
‎Today, ‎February ‎19, ‎2019, ‏‎36 minutes ago

ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland would prefer to have citizens who fought for Islamic State tried on the spot rather than be brought home to face criminal charges, its justice minister said on Tuesday.

The remarks by Karin Keller-Sutter echo reluctance by other European countries to take back combatants whose fate has become more pressing as U.S.-backed fighters seek to capture the last enclave of Islamic State’s self-styled Caliphate in Syria.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday European countries must do more to take them back or “we will be forced to release them”.

“For me, the priority remains the security of the Swiss population and the Swiss security forces.” Keller-Sutter told Swiss broadcaster RTS. “Can we endanger the Swiss to repatriate people who have left of their own free will to wage war in Syria and Iraq?”

“Is it possible to judge them on the spot? That’s what I would prefer,” she added.  “Gathering evidence (and) having a normal procedure on site is hard enough, so imagine Swiss courts suddenly having to judge what happened in Syria.”

Trump has pledged to pull U.S. forces from Syria after Islamic State’s looming territorial defeat, raising concerns in European capitals that jihadists from their countries could try to return home and pose a threat.

In its 2018 annual report, Switzerland’s intelligence service identified 93 cases of jihadi travelers who have left the country for war zones. Dozens of them have died and 16 had returned to Switzerland.

Of the jihadists it identified since 2001, 79 went to Syria and Iraq.

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We are on the same page Wolfhunter....but my point is that if the “safe third country agreement” only applies at manned entry points, why are we letting them in? Refugees or not, direct them to a legal crossing point and have some semblance of a border.

If the migrants would be denied entry at a regular crossing and returned to the “safe country”, the United States...isn’t that the intent of the agreement???? They are already in a safe country so no need to cherry pick and come to Canada for it’s obvious social benefits.

Now that Canada has signed the UN Compact on migration, it will be even harder to control the flow, imo.

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geez build a hut with an arm on it.  call it a point of entry and turn them all around.  sounds easy to me.

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Harsh? But perhaps the way to go?

IS teen to lose UK citizenship, says family

 

Shamima Begum: 'The poster girl thing was not my choice'

Shamima Begum, who joined the Islamic State group in Syria aged 15, is to lose her UK citizenship, the family’s lawyer has said.

In a Twitter statement, Tasnime Akunjee said the family were "disappointed" with the decision and were considering "all legal avenues" to challenge it.

She left Bethnal Green, east London, with two school friends in 2015.

Now 19, she was found in a Syrian refugee camp last week after reportedly leaving Baghuz, IS's last stronghold.

In a BBC interview, Ms Begum, who has just given birth, had said she now wants the UK's forgiveness and to return home.

 

ITV News said Ms Begum's mother had received a letter from the Home Office on Tuesday.

The letter said Home Secretary Sajid Javid had ordered the move and it had already been processed.

It asked the mother to let her daughter know of the decision and to inform her she has a right to appeal.

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