As Men Return From Syria, Europe Weighs Security vs. Civil Liberties

PARIS — Ten young Muslim men, bored by a mundane life in France and haunted by a “feeling of uselessness,” as one put it, were seduced by a leading Islamic State recruiter in Europe in 2013. Within months, they were in Syria under the watchful eyes of hooded, Kalashnikov-wielding militants, doing push-ups, fiddling with weapons and imbibing the ideology.

But the harsh regimen, most have since told investigators, was not to their liking, and it was not long before they hastened back to their families in the Strasbourg area, where they were almost immediately picked up by the French authorities.

What to do with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of such young men in Europe is now among the biggest challenges facing governments and security services.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    Kill them.

  • V10_Rob

    And as they try to balance the two, they’ll get neither.

    • Millie_Woods

      That’s the ‘balance’ Europe’s rulers want. A constant security threat to justify restricting civil liberties.

      • Kathy Prendergast

        One’s “civil liberties” as French citizen should be canceled out when one makes a decision to go to another country to fight on the side of a sworn enemy of one’s country. The same applies to all Western countries, or if not, it should. I don’t think any Canadians who went to fight on behalf of the Germans or Japanese during WWII,if there were any, would have been treated just as run-of-the-mill criminals if they had gotten cold feet and come back home. The fact that these losers found the regimen in Syria or Iraq too harsh (unsurprisingly, consider many of them have never done a hard day’s work in their lives) doesn’t mean they aren’t still enemies of the state.

        • Millie_Woods

          This is Europe we’re talking about. The EU human rights body might rule they’re eligible for veterans benefits. Sadly, that’s not an exaggeration.

  • Raymond Hietapakka

    ..just young lads, letting off a little steam…what’s left to worry about, when you’re a boiling frog? Please dine on me last. A parasite can kill its host.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    The article you posted a few nights ago by Andrew McCarthy tells truths that no politician either here or in Europe will acknowledge, that this is war, not a matter of criminal justice, that those killed or wounded in terrorist attacks are casualties, not victims, and that this war has to be fought accordingly, with armed forces instead of lawyers with briefcases. Those who enlisted with the enemy who come back are either combatants or should be prisoners of war if caught. Enemy deserters should be handled accordingly. The head scratchers might be able to deal with the current situation more effectively if they recognized these simple truths.

  • Alain

    Blueprint for achieving totalitarianism: import en mass hostile foreigners knowing they will create security problems, ensure the real citizens are disarmed and start eliminating all civil liberties claiming it is necessary to deal with the problem you wilfully created.

  • Yusuf_al_Kafir

    Whoever said ‘Those who would give up liberty for security deserve neither’ never lived in a society with a sizable, and threatening Moh-bot population.


  • Kathy Prendergast

    I don’t really see why it’s a “challenge” to deal with these men. Don’t let them back in, or, if you have to, then arrest them for treason, try them, and execute them.

  • If French nationals went abroad to molest children, would France allow them back in?

    If not, why allow these guys back? They did, after all, go there for the girls.

  • jack burns

    Well heck, they just wanted to get in touch with their inner sadistic serial killer for a while, a boy’s night out type thing. They are of no use to the human community. Round them up and shoot them. Bury with heaps of bacon.