Now that ISIS is in shambles after its four years of dominance in an area of the Middle East, we are beginning to see the return of so-called “Canadians” who went to fight for ISIS during their reign in the Middle East. Some of those who left in order to partake in ISIS’ inhumane activities have already returned.
According to government plans which were acquired through a Global News freedom of information request, the most frightening aspect of these returning ISIS fighters is how limited the government plans are.
Difficulty Pressing Charges
Most of these individuals will likely not even be charged with terrorism as they are some of the hardest to prove in the Canadian context.
Due to the fact that these investigations often require evidence of the individual’s activities in the conflict zone, along with the challenge of recovering digital evidence because groups such as ISIS use encrypted methods of communication.
With all these challenges, the odds of the RCMP pushing criminal charges are extremely low and only a dismal amount of these fighters have been charged upon their return back to Canada.
60 ISIS fighters have already returned to Canada, while we’re bracing for another influx of ISIS fighters as their situation overseas continues to deteriorate.
This potentiality for new returnees and the lack of action taken by the Federal government has led to an uproar from the Conservatives in Parliament.
The opposition argues that the government is not only failing to protect Canadians, but that they are also making public very little information about how they plan to deal with these returning ISIS fighters.
Potential Options Going Foward
The United Kingdom has taken the correct steps in this matter and has revoked the citizenships of those ISIS fighters who fled their country in order to participate in their the brutal way of life, effectively making it illegal for those fighters to return to the UK without a complete government background search first.
Canada did not follow their steps, and instead, potentially jeopardized the lives of our citizens.
In many cases, the government is actually forced to aid these “Canadian citizens” in returning to Canada, even after the atrocities that they may have committed overseas.
The best that the RCMP can often do is send an “intervention team” to meet with a returning ISIS fighter and their family, to hopefully turn them away from their ideology through the use of dialogue.
In order to protect Canadians and our values as Canadians, we cannot assume that none of these returnees do not pose a threat to us.
Anyone who has fought overseas in the name of ISIS does pose a significant risk, one that our government shouldn’t take lightly.
Due to the soft actions of our ruling government, we’ve seen a fairly small issue expand into a national security crisis.
It’s time the government took larger action, including tougher legislation to ensure the safety of each and every Canadian who has not fought for a terror group.