Canada has planned for years to handle returnees from the Islamic State. Now the plan has to work

It all strikes me as a bit too trusting and naive. Money quote:

“The women “all seem pleased to be back home,” the report noted, but there were “worrying reports that the majority of women refuse or are unable to take responsibility for their decision to travel to Syria, to have exposed their children to life in a war zone.””

They started disappearing a decade ago.

Slowly and mysteriously, then in a growing wave, young Canadians left behind their homes and families to join fellow Muslims fighting in Syria and Iraq or to experience the radicalized utopia of an Islamic caliphate promised by the Islamic State terrorism group.

Five or so years ago, psychologists such as Michael King and Ghayda Hassan began preparing for their imminent return — one that is expected only now, with a judge’s ruling last week that the federal government must bring Canadian citizens home from overseas detention camps.

“When the caliphate kind of crumbled and lost all its territory,” said King, of Alberta’s Organization for the Prevention of Violence, “there was this massive fear that everyone was going to come back to their countries of origin and charges wouldn’t be laid because it was hard to collect evidence in foreign countries.”

Like surfers in a strange sea, psychologists, social workers, police and radicalization experts waited in vain for that wave of returning male ISIS fighters, female adherents and their children.

Now it is taking shape. Six women, between the ages of 27 and 40. Among them are 13 children between the ages of two and 14.

Separately, there are four Canadian men who range in age from late 20s to early 40s. They have been detained for years in makeshift Syrian prisons on suspicion they fought with or supported ISIS, but they have never been charged with a crime.

One of them — Jack Letts, the 28-year-old son of a British mother and Canadian father — was reportedly being held with up to 30 other men in a cell built for six. Claiming to have been tortured, he is seeking the protection of the Canadian government after the U.K. revoked his citizenship.

Source: Canada has planned for years to handle returnees from the Islamic …

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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