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Thirteen years after 9/11, more rhetoric and fear
Adjunct Prof. Ronald Crelinsten cautions against inflamed rhetoric about foreign fighter returnees in his September 8 column in the Ottawa Citizen.
Here is an excerpt:
"This Thursday is the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It is striking to hear former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney recently warning that the U.S. will experience a worse attack within the decade. In an echo of his administration’s alarmist rhetoric justifying the invasion of Iraq in 2003, many are suggesting that the foreign fighters who are flocking to Syria and Iraq in the thousands will return home and wreak havoc.
To date, only one fighter has done that – a French Algerian who fought in Syria with Islamist rebels for about a year. Last May, he attacked a Jewish museum in Brussels, killing four people.
Of the approximately 500 British citizens who have gone to Syria to fight, several hundred have already returned. Some were disillusioned, and most had no interest in continuing the fight back home. One study found that one in nine retain their extremist views and pose a potential threat."