Daesh Returnees: Deradicalisation Strategy Urgently Needed in Correctional Facilities - Politician

Germany’s opposition parties have criticised Berlin’s handling of Daesh returnees. Deputy leader of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) Stephan Thomae has accused the government of putting the country at risk due to the lack of a clear strategy.

The issue was thrust back into to the spotlight last week after Turkey went from words to action following Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu's announcement that Ankara would begin sending dozens of captured Daesh fighters, sympathisers and their families back to their countries of origin, including the UK, Denmark, Ireland, France and Germany.

“The Federal Government is still without a rational security concept. This makes alarmingly clear that the CDU/CSU and SPD apparently plan to simply sit this topic out,” Thomae told Sputnik.

“In doing so, the coalition has knowingly created an entirely incalculable security risk for our country. Now, once again, they are at the mercy of external circumstances,” the FDP deputy stressed.

Turkish authorities deported a total of nine suspects to Germany last Thursday and Friday the country’s international broadcaster - Deutsche Welle - reported, including a family of seven and two German women.

The father of the family, a German-Iraqi man known as Kanan B., was taken into custody upon his arrival, the German Interior Ministry confirmed. The suspects family - wife, his two sons, two daughters and one grandchild - were not detained.

According to Turkish officials, Kanan B. attempted to travel to Syria with his family about a year ago, but it remains unclear if he reached his destination or ever joined Daesh.

A warrant for his arrest is understood not to be terrorism-related, DW reported.

Another 21-year-old female, identified as Nasim A, has been accused of being a member of Daesh terrorist group and was arrested after landing in Berlin on Friday, federal prosecutors confirmed.

Authorities said she left Germany for Syria in 2014, married a fighter and moved with him to Iraq and later Syria. She was paid to maintain a Daesh-controlled house and carried a weapon.

Kurdish security forces arrested her in early 2019.

Mr. Thomae has argued that it’s now up to Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer to quickly present a comprehensive concept to deal with the repatriated citizens and among them suspected jihadists. It’s also important to coordinate security measures at the European level and work with the international anti-Daesh coalition:

“After all, Islamists and terrorists are not stopped by national borders. Moreover, a deradicalisation strategy is urgently needed in correctional facilities in particular,” he noted.

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Dr Patrick Sensburg, member of the German parliament for CDU and Professor of Public Law and European Law, believes that it’s important to distinguish between foreign terrorist fighters and those who left Germany as young teenagers and children, insisting that Berlin has to accept them:

“They must be taken back to Germany. They are victims and they and their children must be helped. This is going to be a difficult task for the future,” Dr Sensburg said.

“Germany will check very carefully the identity and the background of the people Turkey wants to send back. We are sure that Turkey is providing this important information on those people they want to send back as Turkey did in the past,” he explained.

Europe will likely have to accept more suspected terrorists. Turkey has claimed to have captured hundreds of foreign fighters during its military offensive in northern Syria.

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