The UK authorities have responsibility to prosecute Islamic State terrorists
Article RadarTHIS ARTICLE CONNECT:
- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: united-kingdom;
Since the fall of group’s last Syrian stronghold, Baghuz, the US has stepped up efforts to get foreign fighters and their families repatriated.
But it is “frustrated” with the UK’s failure to take back British fighters.
The Home Office says they should face justice wherever is “most appropriate”.
This “will often be in the region where their offences have been committed,” a spokesperson added.
Privately, however, UK officials have said they fear the legal minefield of trying some of the jihadists and are concerned that any failed prosecution might blow a hole in counter-terrorist legislation.
The issue of what to do with the human remnants of the “caliphate” is emerging as a thorny one for UK-US relations.
Fanned by public outrage, the British authorities appear to want as little to do with the detainees as possible.
“We’re disappointed in a number of countries,” Ambassador Nathan Sales, counter terrorism coordinator for the US State Department, told Newsnight.
“We think it’s a dereliction of responsibility to expect the Syrian Democratic Forces to solve this problem or to expect the Iraqi government to solve this problem or to simply wash one’s hands of the problem altogether,” he said.
He praised Kosovo and Kazakhstan for taking back their detainees and added: “We’ve actually seen considerably more willingness to address this problem by some other countries that don’t have the same resources and that don’t have the same long-standing tradition of rule-of-law courts.”
“Every country has a responsibility to take back its citizens and prosecute them.”
Whitehall has already agreed that two of the most prominent British IS fighters, suspected of complicity in the kidnap and murder of Western hostages in 2014, should be extradited to face trial in the US.
The US was granted permission to try them by the UK government, after arguing that several of their victims were American.