Ironic democracy where fighting in Syria is not a crime -UPDATED

Media reports show a substantial number of foreign fighters who are fighting in Syria, taking up arms with Kurdish fighters against ISIL. But only ones who fight with ISIL or Nusra Front are punished

Ironic democracy where fighting in Syria is not a crime -UPDATED

World Bulletin/News Desk

Soldiers from Canada, USA and the UK are examples of many foreigners fighting against ISIL – a significant number of these are paid soldiers, and have joined against ISIL from Germany and Switzerland.  These soldiers are permitted to fight against ISIL and in their homeland this is a loophole which is not considered illegal.

Israeli media reported the case of Gill Rosenberg, a Canadian born women who joined the Kurdish militia to fight against ISIL and the most recent report of Briton Jamie read who was trained by the French army and his friend James Hughes, who has fought with three tours of Afghanistan, both joining the Kurdish People's Protection Units, the YPG to fight against ISIL.

The irony that presents itself is a dangerous situation for those who join the ranks of ISIL and risk imprisonment and/or harassment on their return.  In the UK those who return to their homeland will be charged with treason and risk raids on their homes - a new counter terrorism bill is due to be signed In November in the UK which include special exclusion orders  -and whilst in Germany those who return will have their ID cards confiscated and banned from leaving the country.

In some cases with police screening, those who do return will be assisted with employment with programs put in place to keep a close watch on those who return to their community. "I think surveillance is the best way. It is a dirty word right now... but surveillance does enable security services to see what people are doing and rank them in terms of what specific threat they might pose."  said, Simon Palombi, consultant for Chatham House, an independent policy institute based in London.

In comparison,  Thomas Hegghammer, a senior research fellow for the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment said that "Nobody really knows what works and what does not... I think the main principle in dealing with [foreign fighters] is to tailor the response to each person or to each category of returnee."

West goes after 'some' fighters

Meanwhile, Austrian police detained 13 people in a dragnet on Friday aimed at suspected fighters working to radicalise young people and encourage them to join militant forces in Syria, prosecutors in Graz said.

Media said nearly 500 police searched mosques and prayer rooms in Vienna, Graz and Linz on Friday as part of the investigation, which comes amid a European crackdown on "fighters" who have joined up with forces in Syria and Iraq.

Prosecutors said in a statement that they had questioned 16 people in the investigation of suspected members of a terrorist organisation. Authorities seized "terrorist propaganda material", cash and illegal iron knuckles in the raids.

Authorities have said they are investigating more than 150 people from Austria believed to have joined up with militants in the Middle East.

A state prosecutor on Friday demanded a prison term of over four years for a 20-year-old German man accused of fighting with ISIL in Syria, in the first trial of its kind in Germany.

The defendant, identified only as Kreshnik B., who was born in Germany to parents from Kosovo, has shown no remorse about his actions, prosecutor Dieter Killmer told the court.

Kreshnik B. is charged with being a member of ISIL between July and December 2013. Prosecutors said he had received military training and participated in battles.

Defence attorney Mutlu Gunal argued that his client had gone to Syria because he wanted to help people and that his sentence should not be more than three years and three months. "It's pure speculation what he did in Syria," Gunal told the court.

Kreshnik B. smiled at his family and chatted quietly with his attorney in the courtroom. He appeared with a full beard and wearing black jeans and a grey hooded jersey. He declined an invitation by Judge Thomas Sagebiel to make a statement.

A verdict is expected on Dec. 5.

Prosecutors say Kreshnik B. travelled to Syria with others to fight and got weapons training, fulfilled guard and medical duties and took part in a recruitment campaign near Aleppo.

The defendant was arrested at Frankfurt airport on his return in December 2013 and has been held in custody since.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Kasım 2014, 15:21