Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020
News Every Day |

US repatriates dozens of IS 'foreign fighters'

The US Justice Department said Thursday that it brought home 27 Americans who went to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State group, as Washington again urged other nations to do the same. A day after filing charges against a Trinidadian-American father and son who enlisted in the Islamic State in 2015, the department said it had brought criminal terrorism support cases against some of those returning Americans. Washington has said it is setting an example for other countries, notably Britain and France, who have resisted repatriating perhaps hundreds of their nationals from Iraq and Syria. "This was our moral responsibility to the American people and to the people of the countries to which these terrorists traveled," said Assistant Attorney General John Demers in a statement. The 27 represent only a portion of the hundreds of Americans and thousands of citizens of other countries who, often with their families, enlisted in the Islamic State as it undertook a bloody campaign to establish its "caliphate" across Syria and Iraq six years ago. Many remain in camps in Syria under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces. Demers said that they had repatriated all 27 "against whom we have charges," suggesting there could still be more, as cases are built against them. He did not offer details on the accusations. - Foreign fighters problem - After wrestling with whether to abandon US "foreign fighters" for Islamic State in the region or to move them to the US military's Guantanamo prison camp, Washington decided two years ago to try them in federal courts. Those charged with "material support of a designated terrorist group" include Kazakhstan-born, naturalized US citizen Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, 44, who was called an IS sniper and weapons trainer. Also charged was Texas-born Omer Kuzu, who as a 17-year-old went to Syria with his brother in 2014 and worked as an IS communications specialist before his capture last year. Some US allies have balked at bringing home their nationals. London has refused to try El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey, two men from Britain who are tied to murders of US and British journalists and aid workers as part of a notorious Islamic State kidnapping cell dubbed The Beatles. Instead, Washington is now preparing the transfer them to the United States for trial. Washington has been pressing hard the repatriation issue, vetoing on August 31 UN resolution pushed by Indonesia on handling foreign fighters because it didn't demand countries act to take back their own. On Thursday the State Department praised Italy for repatriating one of its citizens to stand trial for supporting Islamic State. "Repatriating and prosecuting terrorists is the most effective way to keep them from returning to the battlefield," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. - Terror politics - "The United States should get credit for practicing what it preaches in regards to bringing back citizens to face justice," said Seamus Hughes of the George Washington University Program on Extremism. But he added that the "material support" statute used by US authorities has a "comparatively easier threshold" for charges and convictions that laws in Europe. Moreover, he said, the number of European foreign fighters is far higher than Americans, and so a much larger challenge. Some US material support cases have been criticized for overzealousness. One of the earliest, Samantha Marie Elhassani, was charged in Chicago federal court with material support for a designated terrorist group in 2018. But she claimed that she and her two children were forced to go to the Syrian warzone in 2015 by her husband. Her lawyers were able to get a reduced charge, providing financial support for the terror group, because she admitted carrying money to Hong Kong for her husband. But she still faces a possible 10 year prison sentence. "For the politics of the war on terror, they have to somehow turn them into ISIS members," said Thomas Durkin, a Chicago attorney in the Elhassani case, said of some Justice Department cases.

Read also

President Trump casts a 'very secure vote' for himself in-person in Florida

Reading 3-0 Rotherham United: The Art Of Winning Ugly

Dropping temps prompt Freeze Watch for Sunday night

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here