Harald Doornbos is a respected Dutch journalist based in the Middle East. His analyses of the dangers of radical Islam are spot-on, and since he does not oppose Islam as a whole, even the mainstream media take him seriously. He was live on air (via Skype or telephone) during a broadcast on the public news channel on Sunday 29 April and he shared some of his insights on Twitter as well.
There is an ongoing debate in The Netherlands, as in most Western European countries, about how to deal with returning ISIS fighters, ISIS brides and their children. Most recently, the spotlight has been on the ‘Caliphate children’, who anyone should be able to understand are traumatized and programmed to hate, and therefore pose an immense threat to the West. The political establishment not so much.
Harald Doornbos provides some context to those who still choose to be blind:
Why would Dutch Syria travelers suddenly want to return to The Netherlands? Female ISIS members barely receive either no punishment in The Netherlands or a maximum of 11 months, with loads of support professionals. Quite different from life in an Iraqi prison cell.
The difference is even more extreme for male ISIS members. If they are arrested in parts of Syria or countries like Russia and China, chances are no one will ever hear from them again. So now all these ISIS fighters are trying very hard to be sent back to Western Europe.
For ISIS fighters who are captured on the battle field, the reasoning of Iraqi authorities is: they are warriors and ISIS members, so they are guilty and they get the death penalty. In some cases that applies to female ISIS members too.
Since ISIS eliminated virtually all possible witnesses, there is almost no evidence against individual ISIS members. So almost all of them walk free from Western-European courts.
Recently in Syria, I spoke to one of the notorious “ISIS Beatles” (suspected of decapitating Western journalists and charity workers) and the guy simply said: ‘You claim to be a country of law and order, so send me back to the UK and you will have to let me walk free, because there is no proof.
This is exactly why the US opened Guantanamo after 9/11. Ordinary US courts would have acquitted most suspects for lack of evidence. And since Western Europe is clearly not willing to open its own Guantanamo, what is left for them is hoping the ISIS members will stay in Syria or Iraq.
In other parts of the world, they are at least prosecuted for membership of a terrorist organization. For some reason that option is hardly used in Western Europe. And the handful or times it is, it leads to maximum prison sentences of six years (effectively four years in prison).
The big dilemma is what to do with ISIS children (toddlers). It’s not their fault they’re in Syria or Iraq. But the children can’t come back without their parents. Is that humane? Also, Syria and Iraq may not allow the children to return without their mothers.
So the result is mother and child would return. And then what about the ISIS father? And how can we tell if these children are really theirs? Understandably, every Western ISIS woman would suddenly claim to have 15 children who would all have to travel back with her.
What does that tell the next generation of jihadi’s? It tells them: take your child with you to war, because that will guarantee your return if things go badly for you. That can’t be the intention.
The thing that is often overlooked in this debate is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are terrorist organizations the likes of which we have never seen before. It’s not like the RAF, which kidnapped one person, or ETA, which called the police ahead of their bombs going off.
ISIS and Al Qaeda are doomsday groups. They go for maximum damage. They have no limits to the amount damage they inflict on their enemies. That is why the actions of just a couple of their members can be disastrous. The future of the world was changed on 9/11 by just 19 men. The Paris attacks were carried out by 9 individuals.
The largest part of the thousands of returning ISIS fighters will not do anyting when they return to Europe. But it’s not about them. What it is about is that 10, 5 or even 1 ISIS fighter with a strategically planned attack can change the future of Europe. Do we want to take that risk by allowing thousands of them to return?
Again and again and again, the weakness of our establishment is being exploited by the enemies of the West. Their obsessive adherence to their bankrupt ideology puts us all in danger and is the biggest threat Western civilization has to face.