Canada to help returning IS fighters ‘let go of that terrorist ideology’

Canadian Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau speaks at a press conference in Ottawa on October 20, 2015 after winning the general elections. Liberal leader Justin Trudeau reached out to Canada's traditional allies after winning a landslide election mandate to change tack on global warming and return to the multilateralism sometimes shunned by his predecessor. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada plans to prosecute returning militants but also will help reintegrate them into society

Canada is concerned about the national security threat posed by citizens who joined the Islamic State (IS) group, returning to this country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday.

In parliament, Trudeau pledged to prosecute those who broke Canada’s anti-terrorism laws by joining IS, but also said his government would try to reintegrate them into society.

“We recognise the return of even one individual (who joined the IS group) may have serious national security implications,” Trudeau said.

“We are going to monitor them. We are also there to help them to let go of that terrorist ideology,” he added.

According to a recent CBC report, Canadian officials are aware of around 180 Canadians who joined foreign militant groups. About 60 have returned to Canada, according to government figures released in 2016.

Only two returnees have been prosecuted under Canada’s anti-terrorism act, so far.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale last week explained the difficulties of gathering evidence in war zones for successful criminal prosecutions.

He rejected, however, the use of extrajudicial killings used by allies to solve the problem, telling public broadcaster CBC: “Canada does not engage in death squads.