All over the world, governments are struggling to formulate coherent policies, consistent with their national security, to deal with citizens who left to Syria and Iraq, often with their families, to become Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) in jihadist groups, notably the Islamic State (ISIS), and who now wish to return to their countries of origin.
European Eye on Radicalization is pleased to present this report from four scholars at the American Counterterrorism Targeting and Resilience Institute (ACTRI), who have gathered a wealth of primary data—from government officials, intelligence officers, security agents, countering violent extremism (CVE) practitioners, community leaders, religious authorities, academics, legal professionals, human rights activists, and the FTFs themselves—that can shed light on this thorny issue.
The report tackles some of the most difficult debates hanging over the terrorist returnee issue: the legal duties of states; the problem of avoiding prisons becoming incubators of radicalism; rates of recidivism; the women and children who were drawn into the maelstrom, sometimes against their will, some of whom were subsequently radicalized; and the chances for rehabilitating and reintegrating returnees.
European Eye on Radicalization aims to publish a diversity of perspectives and as such does not endorse the opinions expressed by contributors. The views expressed in this article represent the author alone.