Like we’ve said in the past, the only good terrorist is a dead one.
Veteran Belgian politician and European Union (EU) ‘Counter-Terrorism Coordinator” Gilles de Kerchove has said “fourth-rank footsoldiers” of the Islamic State shouldn’t be jailed when they return to Europe as they would be radicalised there even more effectively than they had been in Syria and Iraq.
The comments come as Gilles de Kerchove calls upon European countries to show leniency to certain returnees from the Islamic State. In a plan that appears to take some inspiration from counter-gang membership initiatives in cities like London, Mr. de Kerchove said Islamic State fighters coming to Europe who could be proved to have not killed anybody while serving the caliphate could be put to use by Western governments.
The Eurocrat questioned the utility of prison as a rehabilitative tool for returning jihadis, suggesting that upon release they may end up being more radicalised than they had been at the time of incarceration, reports The Guardian.
Speaking of the unknown number of cases where individuals defect from European states to ISIS before changing their minds again without having done any actual fighting, Mr. de Kerchove said: “If there is no evidence that they are an active jihadi – for instance, they crossed the border and spent a week with the organisation but were really just washing dishes, a fourth-rank footsoldier, then saw people beheaded and rushed to leave, saying, ‘I made a big mistake’ – is it really worth putting them on the trail that leads to prison?”.