UK refuses to take back British ISIS fighters detained in Syria

El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey in Syria. (AP)

The United Kingdom is refusing to take back at least nine Britons held in Syria with links to ISIS, which include two members of the so-called Beatles cell as well as two unidentified women and their children, according to The Telegraph.

The newspaper reported that the British government wants Syria to deport El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey, the two members of ISIS's execution squad, to the United States.

In an attempt to find out more about the two men arrested by the Kurdish internal security forces, Al Arabiya English reached out to a Kurdish senior official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Qamishli. However, he refused to disclose any information.

The Kurdish official stressed that “security requirements” prevent the disclosure of additional information on the detainees.

“Two of the detainees are dual nationals and have both British and Canadian citizenship,” Abdulkarim Omar, co-chair of the Foreign Relations Commission in north Syria, told Al Arabiya English.

Elsheikh and Kotey have had their British passports revoked, however the other held fighters all have British passports. Meanwhile, some of the children are thought to have been born in ISIS camps in Syria and are therefore considered stateless.

The Telegraph reported that the British government admitted to the difficulty it faces bringing foreign fighters to justice, but denied blocking their return.

Those arrested include members of the “Jihadi John” organization, known for killing and torturing foreign hostages and executing Western journalists in Syria and Iraq.

One of the detained ISIS fighters, Jack Letts’ parents are being tried for three charges of funding terrorism after they had sent money to their son.

“Western countries refuse to accept their detained citizens because they pose a threat to [their countries],” Omar said.

US military advisers and experts are investigating the detainees held by the internal security forces in northern Kurdish areas.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:51 - GMT 06:51
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