Returning Foreign Fighters: Criminalization or Reintegration?

The return of foreign fighters from Syria poses a serious threat to security in European nations. Many countries recently introduced new laws to deal with this issue, which include revoking passports, making a criminal offense the dissemination of propaganda on the Internet and prohibiting individuals from engaging in armed operations abroad. According to Charles Lister, these measures are not enough and can even be counterproductive when they are not complemented by other measures for rehabilitating former fighters into society. This process must include local communities and the families of former foreign fighters, giving them a new perspective on life, thus preventing extremists from exploiting victimization for political purposes.

Charles Lister, Brooking Doha Center