EU Nations Hesitant to Repatriate Jihadists’ Children Amid Fear of Setting ‘Time Bomb’ – Analysts

The potetial return of foreign terrorist fighters to Europe and challenges associated with the returnees have been a pressing issue for several years. The matter was brought up by President Donald Trump back in February, when he urged European nations, including the United Kingdom, France and Germany, to take back more than 800 Daesh* terrorist group fighters captured by the United States in Syria, and put them on trial.

Europe is, however, still reluctant to take its radicalized nationals back, preferring them to face trials in the countries they wage hostilities. In early August, the matter took another turn as Trump did not rule out that the United States might dump up to 2,500 captured terrorists into the countries of Europe if those nations do accept them voluntarily.

Trump said that overall the United States had captured more than 10,000 prisoners after defeating Daesh caliphate. The Kurds have also warned that they could not keep those detained forever, urging Europe to take responsibility for its nationals.

What About Children?

According to European intelligence estimates, since 2012, some 5,300 Europeans, men and women, have joined the Daesh in Syria and Iraq. A thousand children accompanied them, with about 600 more born in the war zones. Less than 10 percent of them have already returned to Europe.

As a result, children of western Europeans who are still there with their mothers or other women or orphaned and still in detention, are estimated at 1,500.


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