With ordinary citizens in arms about the lack of legislation in place to bring ISIS returnees to justice, Canadian MPs voted 280-1 on a motion calling on the government to impose legal consequences on Canadian terrorists who return home.
The motion asks Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal government to submit a plan of action, as well as deny returning fighters’ benefits, services and a range of other privileges. The government will have 45 days to come up with their strategy for bringing to justice those engaging in terrorist activity abroad.
The motion was put forth by the Conservative Party and supported by the Liberals. During questioning in the parliament last week, Trudeau was pressed on his justification for “proactively reaching out” to suspected terrorist Jack Letts and “inviting” him to come to Canada. Letts is a British national as well as a Canadian citizen through his father.
Earlier this month, Clarion Project reported the Canadian police are “struggling to bring terrorism charges against Canadians who have taken part in overseas terror groups,” meaning, there is no guarantee jihadis would face arrest upon their return to Canada.
Close to 60 suspected ISIS fighters have returned to Canada. The government has remained tight-lipped about their identities, where they traveled, what they did and how they are handled. Instead, the government has issued statements referring to “deradicalization” and “reintegration” programs.
Very few cases involving ISIS returnees reach the courts. At times, it is reported they are monitored and, in some cases, put on no-fly lists.
Meanwhile, at least a dozen Canadian ISIS fighters, along with their wives and children, are held in Syria by U.S.-backed Kurdish forces, who want to send them back to Canada. Until a procedure is in place to bring them to justice, transfer will be fraught with danger for Canadian citizens.
See our infographic: US Leads Global Track Down of Returning Foreign Jihadis