A Canadian, is a Canadian, is a Canadian. It’s one of Justin Trudeau’s mantras but I’m not sure how much he will want to wear that now that reports out that Trudeau’s government has a deal to take back more ISIS fighters.
According to The Guardian, the feds are set to take back 11 Canadians currently held by Kurdish forces in northern Syria. Among those said to be part of the deal is Jack Letts, a British born and raised man who left for Syria and to join ISIS in 2014.
Letts visited Canada on vacation with his Canadian father but has tenuous links to the country. That isn’t stopping Canada from negotiating to bring him back says The Guardian.
The Canadian efforts to get Letts out of Syria were a stark contrast to UK government policy on repatriating Isis suspects and their families. Kurdish authorities in Qamishli say it has not responded to requests for cooperation.
The British policy for captured ISIS fighters in Syria is to let them rot in place. Britain has no consular services in Syria and tells all their citizens that they are on their own if they venture to the failed state.
That’s a lot nicer than the policy espoused by British defence secretary Gavin Williamson who said they should be hunted down and killed.
“A dead terrorist can’t cause any harm to Britain,” Williamson said last winter.
“I do not believe that any terrorist, whether they come from this country or any other, should ever be allowed back into this country,” he said. “We should do everything we can do to destroy and eliminate that threat.”
That is vastly different from Trudeau’s promise of poetry lessons and endlessly repeating that a Canadian is a Canadian.
Multiple reports on returning jihadis.
The report from The Guardian comes at the same time as Global News is reporting that as Kurdish forces try to unload foreign Jihadis, Canadian officials are struggling to figure out how or if they can be charged.
The report is from Stewart Bell, perhaps Canada’s premier reporter on terrorism and national security. He focuses on 28 year-old former Toronto resident Muhammad Ali.
Ali was arrested four months ago as he tried to leave Syria for Turkey with his Canadian wife and two children who were born in Syria.
The Kurds don’t want him, but Bell reports the feds don’t know what to do with him.
However, with the RCMP struggling to bring charges against Canadians who have taken part in overseas terror groups, there is no guarantee Ali would face arrest upon his return.
In a jailhouse interview, Ali says that he just wants to go home. He says that he was never someone that was in trouble growing up.
I don’t really care.
This man was a sniper for ISIS, he was also a top recruiter.
He used his social media profile to attract others to the cause of ISIS. He also, as Bell reported back in 2014, spoke openly of playing soccer with the decapitated head of an American soldier.
“Can’t wait for the day IS [as he calls ISIS] beheads the first American soldier. Soccer anyone?” he wrote in August. After ISIS beheaded American journalist James Foley, he added, “I guess it’s time to play soccer boys :)”
If this man ends up back on Canadian soil, he deserves to face jail time.
Experts say it can’t be done.
I know all the arguments against that. I’ve spoken to the experts.
It is hard for police to lay charges when they can’t collect evidence in far off lands they say. We are told that any evidence collected from the battlefields of Syria and Iraq would be suspect. That means, according to experts, it couldn’t stand up in court.
These are excuses. These are the excuses we are given for why we can’t charge people that have joined ISIS.
I don’t buy it.
I can’t buy it.
And I don’t think you can either.
We simply can’t let people that commit such heinous acts to move back into Canada freely.
Would you want Muhammad Ali as your next door neighbour?
Would you want any of these ISIS fighters that want to play soccer with severed heads living near you?
We all know the answer is no.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has been weak in his response to far.
Goodale, and his colleague at Justice, Jody Wilson-Raybould, have some great legal minds working for them.
It’s time to stop explaining why we can’t charge monsters like Jihadi Jack or Muhammed Ali and find ways to charge them.
It’s better than just letting them back into the country with a welcome basket and some poetry lessons.
Watch Ali in his prison interview below.