View Full Version : The Beatles dilemma: court somewhere or a hole

02-11-2018, 10:01 PM
The detention by the SDF in Syria of two former British citizens, who became ISIS executioners and were nicknamed 'The Beatles', has once again returned to political in-trays what shall we do?

A BBC report:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43015933

Raffaello Pantucci, RUSI, argues that:
So the answer for cases like those of the two captured Beatles is a fairly obvious one. They should suffer the legal consequences of their actions in whichever jurisdiction is appropriate. If they can be linked to criminal activity which the United States Department of Justice can and wants to prosecute, then they should be sent to America and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. For the range of others who have gone to fight from the United Kingdom, each one needs to be dealt with in on a case by case basis. This may produce a long list of headaches for the Crown Prosecution Service, but this is the appropriate response from our country with its proud open and free judicial system.Link:https://raffaellopantucci.com/2018/02/11/why-returning-jihadis-need-to-face-real-justice-not-the-torture-of-guantanamo-bay/

I cannot see anyone, even Japan, racing to have them delivered into custody for a trial. The USA has Guantanamo Bay and prefers not to have criminal trials, although in theory that door has not been closed for those few who remain there. Now they are no longer UK citizens I cannot see the UK will have them here, although IMHO it would be a good thing - justice is what we say they deserve, so do it. A big assumption the evidence various parties hold is available.

Not sure about the legalities of having them handed over by the SDF.

02-12-2018, 08:54 PM
They are just two amongst hundreds captured in Syria and Iraq. Their growing number has become a major source of concern for the US, prompting American Defence Secretary Jim Mattis to urge allied nations to permit militants to return to their country of origin and face justice. Mattis is expected to raise the issue of hundreds of foreign fighters that are amongst those captured by SDF during a meeting in Rome this week with other members of the coalition fighting with the Daesh group in both Syria and Iraq, according to CBS News.

02-13-2018, 05:03 PM
The Lawfare blog weighs in and a short article ends with:
American equities seem particularly strong in this case. If the most proper long-term disposition option involves seeking capital punishment or at least a life sentence in a reliably secure facility (and providing at least a small margin of justice to the Mueller and Foley families) these men should be brought to the United States for prosecution. And if there is to be any hope of actually getting to trial, verdict, and punishment anytime soon, that prosecution obviously has to take place in a civilian federal court.Link:https://lawfareblog.com/what-fate-captured-islamic-state-terrorists-0

02-17-2018, 11:35 AM
A NYC court case that amply illustrates why criminal prosecution can take a long time, here the indictment was for combat in Afghanistan in April 2003 and an undated plot to bomb the US Embassy in Nigeria. Arrested in Italy after arrival as a refugee in 2011, extradited in October 2012 and jailed February 2018.

02-17-2018, 04:02 PM
Id'd by Bruce Hoffman and his comment via Twitter:
Read this immensely powerful and compelling plea from eight persons with a gravitas and perspective that cannot be ignored.
Link to the NYT article:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/16/opinion/justice-isis-trial.html

02-19-2018, 09:14 PM
Meantime in Denmark there is a trial underway:
The man, in his early twenties, has Somalian heritage, has previously lived in the UK and has a Finnish passport.....He is accused by the state prosecutor of spending 20 months in Syria, during which time he joined the Islamic State (Isis) terror group and was trained to handle weapons. If this accusation cannot be proved, the prosecution will seek to convict him for promoting Isis through religious teaching in areas under control of the group....He acted as an imam, an Islamic religious leader, and taught the Qur'an in these areas, according to the prosecution.

03-02-2018, 07:43 PM
A neo-con author, Robin Simcox, British now @ The Heritage Foundation, has a lengthy paper.