The Trudeau government believes Canadians who leave their country to fight for ISIS have a “right to return,” documents obtained by Global News through an access to information request reveal.
According to Global News, the administration believes that not only do ISIS operatives have a “right to return,” but also that the “government must facilitate their return to Canada.”
The briefing note is addressed to Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who is responsible for ensuring the returning ISIS operatives do not pose a definable risk.
Because terrorism is a “complex and resource intensive,” the briefing note warns that “there may not be sufficient evidence for charges” when ISIS volunteers come home. Therefore the government must “mitigate the threat through efforts outside the criminal justice system.”
The government has established a complex multi-department government agency entitled the High Risk Returnee Interdepartmental Taskforce that coordinates its efforts with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), according to the brief.
The taskforce does little but monitor the former ISIS operatives as agents try to “engage with the returnee and the returnee’s family to open up dialogue with the individual and to help support the returnee’s disengagement from their radical ideology and past behavior,” the document states.
“Moving forward, we must continue to work to identify how to best address returnees,” the brief continues. “While they may have engaged in terrorism abroad and broken the law, not all returnees continue to post [sic] a threat — they may now be disillusioned with the cause.”
The strategy is completely in line with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s assessment of returning ISIS terrorists. He said at a recent town hall meeting that they are no different than Italians who came to Canada after the Second World War.
The question of ISIS returnees remains a hot button issue in the House of Commons, especially considering last week’s that one former ISIS fighter had told the New York Times that he had worked as an ISIS executioner in Syria. Although Abu Huzaifa — who lives and works in Toronto — now says he made the whole story up, Conservative House Leader Candice Bergen is demanding his arrest. (RELATED: Former ISIS Operative Who Confessed To Murder In NYT Interview Living In Canada)
Last month, other documents revealed that the Trudeau government had censored intelligence information that suggested the returning ISIS members pose a potential chemical weapons threat.
According to government estimates, there are still about 190 Canadians volunteering as terrorists abroad, with the majority fighting in Syria and Iraq.