Hassan on Europe's Dilemma with ISIS

Media Coverage | February 20, 2019

On February 19, EWI's Kawa Hassan gave an interview with Kurd Connection, a joint program of Voice of America Kurdish Service and NRT, on Europe's struggle on how to deal with returning ISIS fighters. 

An english translation of his remarks can be found below:

In a tweet over the weekend, the U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to release more than 800 ISIS foreign fighters if France, the UK and Germany didn't take them back and put them on trial.   

Clearly, the return of ISIS fighters and families who surrendered to Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) will pose political, security and legal dilemmas for European countries—they might be a security threat, European societies will most likely reject their return and reintegration and European laws might not be suitable for prosecuting atrocities committed in Syria. This is definitely not an easy process.    

Yet, despite these tough challenges, European countries should take responsibility, putting them on trial and under strict surveillance, as well as placing them in special de-radicalization and reintegration programs. 

As members of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, these European countries have played a very active role in supporting local partners in Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan and SDF. ISIS is weakened but its ideology is not defeated. The root of ISIS is Iraqi and Syrian, but its appeal is global. Fighting global, jihadist-Salafism and addressing its root causes is a common global problem and hence, needs joint actions and policies for generations to come. It is exactly for this reason that European countries should take responsibility and deal with returned ISIS fighters and families.  

Click here to watch the interview on Kurd Connection.