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Video Canadian ISIS fighters detained in Syria | Power & Politics

TheTV.info
13:51   |   11/18/2018 at 22:39

Transcription

  • terrorists have been emboldened by this
  • government those who have left the
  • comfortable confines of Canadian
  • democracy to travel overseas and
  • associate themselves with a terrorist
  • cause will be pursued by Canadian
  • justice minions actually want to know
  • that terrorists will end up in jail not
  • walking on our street and living in our
  • communities we will pursue criminal
  • prosecutions in every possible way we
  • can we've demonstrated that mr. speaker
  • by actually doing it where the previous
  • government while they talk a good game
  • failed to lay a single charge
  • there are at least 13 Canadians
  • currently being detained by Kurds in
  • Syria on suspected ties to Isis
  • according to reporting from Global News
  • the Kurds want Canada to take those
  • people back but as Public Safety
  • Minister Ralph Goodale told us yesterday
  • the government has no plans to do that
  • does Canada have an obligation to bring
  • those people home joining me by Skype
  • from Toronto is Amarnath amarasinghe
  • he's a senior research fellow at the
  • Institute for Strategic Dialogue hi nice
  • to see you again thanks for coming on
  • the show thanks for having me so you
  • know about more about this subject than
  • anyone I know I'm wondering you you've
  • been back a week now from Syria what did
  • you learn there that you that you didn't
  • already know about Canadian foreign
  • fighters I think what was interesting is
  • a few things I think one it was
  • interesting how many you Canadian
  • or a few officials from the Canadian
  • government had actually been over there
  • to interview our prisoners that I'd been
  • under the assumption that there would be
  • kind of more interest in getting Intel
  • and stuff like that for more prisoners
  • but I guess it makes sense legally that
  • the Canadian government doesn't really
  • want to interfere too much in this
  • process partly because the prisoners are
  • being held by the YPG which contains the
  • PKK which is a kind of Kurdish
  • organization which is listed as a
  • terrorist entity in Canada so it's not
  • something that the Canadian government
  • can so easily kind of negotiate with as
  • if it was any other state actor so that
  • it kind of makes sense legally but that
  • was something that
  • kind of caught me off guard initially
  • when we went in because a lot of the
  • fighters were saying and and the women
  • were saying you know I you guys are the
  • first Canadians we've met so that kind
  • of caught me off guard in the beginning
  • and how many I know you sort of work to
  • ascertain some sort of number of of
  • these people being held by the Kurds
  • what were you what number did you end up
  • with there's three men three women and
  • seven children that we know of I think
  • there's probably a bit more in some
  • other camps there will likely be a few
  • more prisoners maybe as the Deir Ezzor
  • campaign comes to a close which in a few
  • weeks the Kurdish official Kurdish
  • forces think they were going to capture
  • the last kind of holdouts of Isis within
  • the next few weeks so there might be
  • some more Western prisoners there all of
  • the seven children are under five and at
  • least three or four of them were under
  • the age of 1 which means that a few of
  • them were even born in the camps after
  • capture and all of them except one or
  • two were born in Isis territory
  • how how how much more of a dilemma do
  • you think that makes it or or do you for
  • the federal government this idea that
  • they they were born there or that they
  • that they are children I think for me
  • it's more of a moral question than a
  • legal one I'm not I'm not a lawyer so I
  • don't know how to think in those terms
  • but I think for me visiting these camps
  • which are basically makeshift IDP camps
  • and the word camp makes it seem like
  • they can come and go as they please of
  • course that's not the case so it's kind
  • of a camped prison and they're basically
  • small huts covered in tarp where you
  • know these women are being held along
  • with their children so in a small tent
  • it would be the woman and two to three
  • or four kids and winter is on the
  • horizon in Syria in a month or so and
  • Syrian winters are pretty crazy and so
  • there's a real chance that you know some
  • of these kids might get sick or or even
  • could become deathly ill some in some
  • way in these camps so I think for us for
  • me anyway it's it's a moral question of
  • bringing some of the families back as
  • soon as possible
  • and charging them here or finding a way
  • to reintegrate them here is the second
  • issue I think but I think getting them
  • out of those kinds of camps is should be
  • a priority I should also add that the
  • Kurdish authorities want them out of the
  • country as well pretty quickly the
  • numbers we got there were you know five
  • somewhere around nine hundred fighters
  • five hundred women and a thousand
  • children from 44 different countries the
  • Kurdish authorities don't want to care
  • for them and definitely don't want them
  • kind of living in their camps
  • indefinitely so they're also asking
  • governments to take back their citizens
  • as soon as possible so I think there's a
  • kind of and there's a kind of argument
  • to be made that we should bring our
  • citizens back and charge them in our own
  • country it's clean
  • okay I had a chance to ask Public Safety
  • Minister Ralph Goodell yesterday about
  • your work and Stewart bells work and I
  • want to play for the clip for you and
  • then I'll get reaction is it your
  • intention to bring those Canadians back
  • there is no there is no such agreement
  • there is no commitment in that regard as
  • I've said before why well these people
  • left the comfortable confines of
  • Canadian democracy to travel around the
  • world to a war zone and to engage in the
  • atrocious activities of terrorism they
  • made those decisions to do that and they
  • have to bear the consequences of their
  • of their decisions so what do you think
  • of the point he's making essentially and
  • I and I think there would be a number of
  • Canadians thinking about the activities
  • that not the children but the parents of
  • these children engaged in and sort of
  • similarly saying why should we bring
  • them back what do you say to that I mean
  • it's a sentiment that I understand and I
  • think a lot of I've heard it a lot over
  • the last week from you know basically
  • everybody that I speak to is just just
  • leave them there what's the problem they
  • went there on their own accord they
  • often burn their passports in front of
  • in front of the camera they actively
  • renounced their Canadian citizenship and
  • now is now that they're captured somehow
  • their Canadian citizenship should be
  • used to bring them back and charge them
  • here so I mean it's an argument that
  • makes sense it's an argument that
  • that I sympathize with but I also think
  • that you know morally and legally
  • speaking these are our citizens and we
  • kind of have an obligation to charge
  • them here and have them face justice
  • here I also think broadly speaking in
  • terms of the kind of campaign against
  • terrorism more broadly having people
  • face justice here having them in front
  • of the courts facing a fair trial
  • goes a long way to kind of communicating
  • to other potentially radicalized
  • individuals that this is how Canada does
  • things that doesn't just you know lead
  • people to to leave people alone in a in
  • a tent city somewhere in the desert in
  • Syria without any concern the minister
  • seemed to indicate that without the
  • evidence without acquiring the evidence
  • necessary to charge them when they're
  • back here that that's that almost seemed
  • to me and I'm reading between the lines
  • of what he said because he didn't say it
  • directly but that's what would be
  • required for them to then go and try to
  • bring them back that that bar for
  • evidence though to press charges of
  • terrorism as we both know very very high
  • what do you think of of that argument
  • sort of not bringing them over until
  • there is some sort of evidence to to to
  • necessitate charges yeah I mean the
  • Syrian conflict as much as much as it is
  • the kind of most mediated conflict in
  • history is also a bit of a black hole
  • and so a lot of we don't know what a lot
  • of these guys did when they were over
  • there we don't know aside from their
  • social media profiles sometimes you know
  • that there were even over there and I
  • think a good defense attorney could poke
  • holes in social media profiles could
  • also poke holes in the fact that these
  • guys were being held by the SDF which is
  • made up of the PKK which is you know we
  • consider to be a terrorist organization
  • ie they were probably tortured into
  • confessing that there were members of
  • Isis and so on so I think the legal case
  • here is gonna be an uphill battle for
  • sure but I fear that leaving them in the
  • under SDF territory also has problems
  • because the Kurds have made it clear
  • that they're not going to keep them
  • there indefinitely they're not just
  • gonna house these prisoners over the
  • next 10 years while
  • one else gets their act together the
  • other 44 countries get their act
  • together that there are kind of Plan B's
  • and plan C's that they're discussing and
  • thinking about I'm worried what these
  • plans might be if they're thinking about
  • releasing them back into rebel territory
  • or Isis territory if they're thinking
  • about handing them over to the Assad
  • regime or if they're thinking about
  • handing them over to the - what other
  • other kinds of forces that might be
  • active in Syria we were just gonna have
  • a kind of ongoing problem on our hands
  • if any of these kids end up dying in
  • these camps or if any of these men get
  • tortured and killed by whatever forces
  • are active in Syria we might face
  • wrongful death lawsuits and a whole
  • other whole other sorts of problems so I
  • think it's a kind of it's not consistent
  • to say that somehow leaving them there
  • is problem-free and we only encounter
  • problems when we bring them back I think
  • both post problems but I think we have a
  • kind of legal obligation or maybe not a
  • legal obligation but a kind of moral
  • obligation to bring them and charge them
  • here just just because they're our
  • citizens let me also add it I think
  • there's a there's a kind of added
  • complication which I also sympathize
  • with which is that some of these women
  • when they're when their husbands died
  • remarried and have kids with new
  • husbands and so on so I don't I don't
  • sympathize with the Canadian government
  • which we which has to kind of deal with
  • this bureaucratically as well in terms
  • of getting out ID documents or passport
  • documents and things like that work with
  • children that we might not even really
  • be sure are Canadian and and so there
  • there is a kind of added complexity of
  • the nature of the conflict that was that
  • was run by Isis and the nature of how
  • these relationships and things like that
  • worked that that adds another layer of
  • complication here very complex all
  • around thanks so much mr. Ammer and
  • saying I appreciate appreciate your time
  • thank you meanwhile the parents of a
  • British Canadian man accused of being a
  • member of Isis have written a letter to
  • members of parliament challenging a
  • statement by opposition leader Andrew
  • Shearer Mr Shearer raised the case of
  • the man called jihadi Jack in question
  • period this week joining me now is the
  • CBC's Mary
  • rooster hi Mary nice to see you hi
  • motion thanks for coming in um tell me
  • what's going on here
  • well back in February you may or may not
  • recall that we wrote some stories about
  • how Jack let's jihadi Jack was speaking
  • with Canadian consular officials about
  • getting him out and possibly coming to
  • Canada it's finally become a political
  • issue and it was in the House of Commons
  • this week and it was raised by
  • Conservative leader Andrew Shearer so
  • let's have a listen to what he had to
  • say actively reaching out to a known
  • terrorist fighter this individual is a
  • British citizen it is unclear if he has
  • ever spent any time in Canada this
  • government has reached out to try to
  • bring him to Canada Wow
  • yes opportunity now to explain why why
  • well that is prompted a pretty furious
  • reaction from his parents they wrote to
  • all members of parliament today and
  • we've got a copy of the letter right
  • here and I wanted to read just a portion
  • of it it's a really long letter but it
  • says that jack is a known jihadi fighter
  • is a blatant lie and that he knows is
  • untrue simply repeating a lie four times
  • does not make it true if Mr Shearer has
  • any evidence that our son is a known
  • jihadi fighter he has a duty to report
  • this information to Canadian and British
  • authorities now what's interesting about
  • this fact she is the fact that John
  • let's who wrote the letter to
  • parliamentarians today has already been
  • in Canada and he has attempted to meet
  • with both the RCMP and CSIS because he
  • says that he wanted to present evidence
  • to them that his son is innocent no
  • naturally they claim parents are
  • claiming that their son is innocent but
  • they wanted to present that evidence to
  • Canadian authorities and Canadian
  • authorities didn't want to listen
  • interesting I mean they must
  • reason why but is is there a response
  • from mr. Scheer at this point well there
  • is and our cameras caught up with mr.
  • Shearer in Toronto just a couple of
  • minutes ago let's have a look at what he
  • had to say
  • people have to be accountable for their
  • actions and you know you don't you know
  • when we talk about naive kids you
  • normally people think about you know
  • stealing a car with the wrong group of
  • friends or getting into involved in some
  • some petty crimes and and that you know
  • is not what we're talking about here
  • we're talking about a situation in Syria
  • where the most heinous atrocities have
  • been committed against ethnic minorities
  • against people of different faiths and
  • have someone go and join and engage in
  • that type of confidence it's not just
  • someone getting caught up in something
  • that's some that's somebody who has to
  • answer for what they've done so John
  • let's and his lawyer are going to be in
  • Ottawa next week and they're going to be
  • pleading their case directly to the
  • Canadian public and to the Canadian
  • government interesting okay thanks a lot
  • Mary you're walking

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Description

The Liberal government is being grilled by the opposition over what it plans to do with Canadian ISIS fighters who've been detained in Syria. Meanwhile, the parents of a young British-Canadian man accused of being a member of ISIS, known by the British media as "Jihadi Jack" have written an open letter to members of Parliament challenging what they claim are "lies" about their son being repeated by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.
To read more: http://cbc.ca/1.4868495

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