With the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) now appearing as if it has lost the ability to control territory and many of its members fleeing the region, the Canadian government must now address the possibility of citizens who have become “foreign fighters” returning home, radicalized and prepared to commit acts of terror. This compels officials from Public Safety Canada to ask important questions about who these radicals are, what they will do next, and what can be done to protect Canadians if they come home. This paper reviews the international and domestic legal framework as applied in Canada and discusses how authorities are seeking to apply the law to returning foreign fighters. The paper then inquiries into the legal implications of returning foreign fighters. It is contended that while Canada’s legal system offers an adequate response for the time being, it does not guarantee security and may have significant loopholes which could constrain its application. To counter this, authorities must continue to develop and adapt broader policy approaches in order to deal with an undefined and emerging threat.

, , , ,
Canadian Foreign Policy Journal
Norman Paterson School of International Affairs

Fejes, M.G. (Mike G.). (2018). Returning foreign fighters: the law and implications for Canadian national security policy. Canadian Foreign Policy Journal. doi:10.1080/11926422.2018.1530125