Should US Citizens Be Allowed to Join Foreign Fights?

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Kurdish Peshmerga and US Special forces in Iraq. (Photo: Patrick Barth/Getty Images)
Kurdish Peshmerga and US Special forces in Iraq. (Photo: Patrick Barth/Getty Images)

A Rhode Island father was recently sentenced to three years in prison for violating his probation and leaving the country to fight ISIS.

Anthony DelGatto, an Air National Guard veteran, spent some years in prison after pleading “no contest” to charges of armed robbery and conspiracy. He was released on probation with the condition that he not leave the country. Twice he petitioned a court to waive the condition but was denied.

DelGatto went anyway, feeling compelled to join the Kurds in their fight against ISIS in Iraq, saying, “the future of my children is part of what I’m protecting.” After a five-month tour, he returned to see his children and was promptly arrested and sentenced to a hefty three years in prison for breaking the conditions of his probation.

While the U.S. State Department declined to comment on DelGatto’s specific case, they issued a statement declaring, “U.S. citizens who undertake such activity face extreme personal risks, including kidnapping, injury or death. The U.S. government does not support this activity.”

In the UK, a number of  citizens who joined the fight against ISIS were arrested upon return.

What do you think is right? Please take a moment and answer our poll below:

Should it be illegal for U.S. citizens to go overseas to fight against terror?



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