A few weeks ago, I noted that ISIS terrorists imprisoned in the Kurdish areas of Syria were caught between a rock and a hard place.
Syrian security forces are also helping to round up or kill any ISIL prisoners who had recently escaped from Kurdish prisons. Everyone involved here, especially the Syrians, Iranians and Iraqis, have a compelling reason to prevent ISIL members or family members from getting free. The Kurds had asked, without much success, for more help, especially financial, to deal with all the ISIL personnel they had captured. Moslem and non-Moslem nations were not eager to take back their citizens who had joined ISIL and were now Kurdish prisoners. The Assads will kill most of these ISIL members as well as many of their wives and children. That’s how the Assads deal with Islamic terrorists who oppose them and ISIL was definitely an enemy of the Assads.
You'll note that Turkey was not mentioned in that paragraph. That's because Turkey has sponsored and supported ISIS/ISIL in Syria and Iraq, thanks to President Erdogan's misbegotten policies and blinkered view of Islam. Turkey has, in effect, become the second-largest sponsor (after Iran) of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism in the Middle East.
That doesn't mean that Turkey wants to support such terrorists on its own soil. They're hard to manage, and with the typical fanatic's monomaniacal focus, can turn on their sponsors at any moment. In its recent invasion of Syria, Turkey has captured (or become the new captors of previously captured) ISIS/ISIL terrorists, to the tune of over a thousand of them. It doesn't want them within its borders.
Cue the European Union and other nations. They've consistently refused to take back their citizens who went to Syria and Iraq to fight for ISIS/ISIL. They don't want such radicalized individuals to return to their home countries and spread their poison there. They've even, in some cases, stripped them of their citizenship. They effectively, in so many words, hoped they'd be killed in combat, and when some weren't, they abandoned them to rot in their prisons in the Middle East. I daresay, as noted above, that those in formerly Kurdish-controlled prisons who have now been handed over to Syria, won't rot for long. They'll be tortured for information, then killed, as per the long-standing Syrian custom.
(Of course, many of those prisoners have taken advantage of the confusion in the region, caused by Turkey's invasion, to escape. The Kurds have pulled back precipitately in some regions, without securing their prisoners. Last month the US warned that many of those fanatics had escaped. Frankly, if I'd been one of them, and knew that unless I escaped, I'd be handed over to the Syrians, I'd have moved heaven and earth to get out of there at any cost, to avoid my otherwise inevitable fate.)
That leaves terrorists captured, or taken over, by Turkey. Guess what that nation plans to do with them?
An alleged American member of Islamic State, stranded for a second day on the border between Greece and Turkey after Turkey expelled him, is “not our problem”, the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has said.
. . .
A Turkish official told AFP that he had refused to be returned to the US and instead asked to be sent to Greece. Athens said he was refused entry when he tried to cross the no man’s land between the two countries to the Greek town of Kastanies. He is reported to have spent the night outside and witnesses said he has been trying to shout to reporters on the Turkish side of the border.
Asked to comment on the reports on Tuesday, Erdoğan said: “Whether [the deported Isis fighters] are stuck there at the border it doesn’t concern us. We will continue to send them. Whether they take them or not, it is not our concern.”
Speaking to reporters in Ankara on Tuesday, Erdoğan threatened that Turkey could release all of its jailed foreign militants and send them to Europe.
“You should revise your stance towards Turkey, which at the moment holds so many Isis members in prison and at the same time controls those in Syria,” Erdoğan said, addressing European countries.
“These gates will open and these Isis members who have started to be sent to you will continue to be sent. Then you can take care of your own problem.”
There's more at the link.
The EU and many other nations sought to shuffle off their home-grown fundamentalist terrorists onto other nations, primarily the USA and its local Kurdish allies. The USA has now walked away from it (which I think was the right thing to do), and the Kurds have other things on their minds - like, say, survival in the cauldron that the Middle East has become. Therefore, everyone who shuffled off the problem in the past has just found it coming right back at them.
There is, of course, a simple way to deal with such fanatical terrorists. It involves one bullet per terrorist. However, in today's politically correct world, that solution is a non-starter. That's a pity, because there isn't any other that will work.
That clip from "The Untouchables" may refer to "the Chicago way", but it's also the way of the terrorist and counter-terrorist. Terrorists are the most hardened of criminals. They don't understand democracy, or mercy, or the law, as anything except levers they can manipulate in order to get their way and accomplish their purpose. The only effective counter to that is to pay them out in their own coin, and fight them on their own terms. You can only do that with people whose guilt is beyond doubt, of course; but for such people, nothing less will work.
You want examples? Here are some from the real world. No, I didn't do any of them . . . but I knew people who did.
- Terrorists plant landmines on rural dirt tracks to blow up tractors and trailers carrying innocent civilians. The idea is to discourage them from working for the "occupiers". The response? Wire captured terrorists to the front of the lead vehicle in a convoy. (Yes, wire, not rope. Wire cuts into flesh as the vehicle bumps over the unimproved surface of a bush road, sometimes right down to the bone. The pain, and the sight, can be rather persuasive arguments to a terrorist.) If there's a landmine on that road, guess who dies first? It's amazing how often the terrorist(s) concerned would reveal the location(s) of said landmine(s) before they reached them . . . and it's amazing how many fewer landmines were laid, once the word spread.
- Criminals, and terrorists, rule the locals by intimidation and fear. They make people too scared to inform on them or give evidence against them. The answer? Make them fear the revenge of the locals. Example: a hardened criminal and terrorist (yes, he was both) was a rapist and sadist. He was injured in a police shoot-out, so they took him (under guard) to a local clinic for treatment. While there, a senior NCO visited the matron (a lady from a different tribe), and informed her that the terrorist who'd raped her daughter was, at that moment, in ward so-and-so, bed number so-and-so. The police then left, taking the guards with them (an unfortunate "oversight" for which they were later severely reprimanded. I think that translates as "Naughty! Naughty!") The terrorist was still there when the cops came back for him, a few hours later . . . blind, tongue ripped out, emasculated, and a few other things I won't bother to describe. That township was a very peaceful place for the next few months, after the word got around - and the terrorist movement concerned never managed to re-establish itself there to the same extent.
- A number of terrorists were detained in another country, generally sympathetic to their movement. They were officially being "processed through the courts". There was ample reason to suspect they would be given bail, after which (of course) they would simply vanish, forfeiting their bail, free to carry on with their evil work. The solution? A convenient "prison riot" in which - oh, dear! - all the alleged terrorists were somehow killed. Rumors that the guards were bribed to back off and let the riot take its course were, of course, firmly denied, and a subsequent investigation found no evidence to substantiate them.
The West has forgotten many of those lessons, in a surfeit of liberal democracy. I rather suspect many of them are going to have to be re-learned. Human rights? Uh-huh. Tell the victims of terror that they can't be protected or avenged, because that would interfere with their attackers' human rights, and see what sort of response you get. You'll deserve it.