They made a choice and decision. It was their choice to follow the brutal path of the so-called Islamic State, their decision to declare Canada and Canadians a sworn enemy. No matter, they were Canadian.
Canada represented Western cultural decadence. The Islamic State offered the option to commit acts of barbarism: to set fire to a Jordanian fighter pilot locked into a cage; to hurl gays to their deaths from rooftops: to repeatedly rape young girls kidnapped from their families.
Surely such deeds cannot go unpunished. Certainly, when armies swept them from their self-declared caliphate and they made their way back to the bosom of Canada the landing would be anything but soft.
They were terrorists, after all; bullies who brutalized those who offered at best feeble resistance.
They must have anticipated a courtroom and criminal sentencing demanding decades locked away from those they despised. That was their preferred choice over staying the course and battling the truly unforgiving militaries of their victims who would deliver the mercy they had meted out. None.
Back to Canada they have come. Their greeting far more gentle than they may have expected.
But back to France? Back to the U.K.? Back to the United States?
Britain’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) has been issued a “kill list” of several hundred British jihadis. They are not to make it out of the Middle East alive. SAS special operators have been told this is the most important mission of the Regiment’s 75-year history.
Americans too are serving a cold dish of revenge: be an IS terrorist in Syria and that is where American special forces are charged with making certain you die.
The French have scores to settle after the brutality of Paris. French citizens who forsake La Republique for the caliphate are not to make it home is the mission of the ultra-tough and legendary Foreign Legion.
So, what about Canada?
In Joint Task Force Two, Canada has one of the world’s most elite counter-terrorism military units. It was a JTF2 special operator who fired the world record 2.1-mile sniper kill shot, eliminating a terrorist recently.
Yet Canada’s federal government has assured Charter rights of returning IS terrorists will be respected. Kill them before they return? Not according to the federal minister for Public Safety. Ralph Goodale speaks of Canada not participating in setting loose “death squads.”
Canadians who abandoned this nation for IS and similar organizations are officially dubbed “terrorist travellers” and some 200 have reportedly returned to face absolutely no legal consequences.
At least strip duals of their Canadian citizenship? A Government of Canada release reveals that under the previous Citizenship Act “Citizenship could be revoked from dual citizens convicted of treason, spying and terrorism offences, depending on the sentence received, or who were a part of an armed force of a country or organized group in conflict with Canada.”
Under Bill C-6, the revision of the Citizenship Act, a section personally demanded by Prime Minister Trudeau reveals, “this provision is repealed. Dual citizens living in Canada who are convicted of these crimes will face the Canadian justice system, like other Canadian citizens who break the law.”
It appears the principle personal danger for Canadians who burned their passports in favour of choosing the path of IS would be to appear in the reticle of a British, American, French or Australian special operator’s weapon while still in Syria or Iraq.