A senior EU judiciary official warns that women and children related to Middle East-based Takfiri terror groups, including Daesh, are increasingly returning to their home countries in Europe, with some of them posing security threats to their homeland.
In a report to the European Parliament on Thursday, Eurojust President Michele Coninsx raised concerns over a “new trend” of females and juveniles heading from Middle East war zones back to European countries.
“We see that females and young children are coming back to Europe and they need special attention,” said Coninsx.
There have been growing concerns among European officials as Takfiri Daesh militants, many of them European nationals, are increasingly losing ground in Iraq and Syria amid army advances there.
The former Belgian prosecutor further said the fact that an individual returning from Daesh-held areas is a woman or child does not mean the person cannot pose a security risk.
“It is not because you are a child or because you are a female that you are not dangerous. If you have the terrorist intent, and the capacity, and if you have both at the same time, you constitute a danger,” said Coninsx.
“Killing machines” could be among those returning from Daesh-controlled territories, Coninsx said, adding that they “must also be taken care of in the best possible way.”
Coninsx warned that some women returning to Europe from Middle East conflict zones, who had a criminal or terror-related record, were potentially “super dangerous.”
However, the situation with the militants’ children was more sensitive and required special consideration, Coninsx explained.
“Minors coming back as victims must be taken care of in a very well adapted way,” Coninsx said.
Relocation of male Daesh militants
In past months, the Daesh terror organization has suffered heavy losses in its main strongholds in Iraq and Syria, Mosul and Raqqa,respectively.
Coninsx said despite Daesh’s defeat in the Middle East, the group’s males were not accompanying the women and children heading to Europe.
The rates of Daesh male militants retuning from the Middle East conflict zone to Europe “do not seem to be increasing,” Coninsx said.
Male Daesh militants “are going to be relocated in the war zones and there will be shifts from Syria, Iraq to other regions in the neighborhood,” Coninsx said.
Officials estimate some 5,000 European nationals have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the Daesh Takfiris and other extremist groups.