Some parents who lost their children to fatal torture tactics at the hands the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) are demanding justice for their loved ones, urging the Syrian Kurdish fighters who apprehended the two “hateful” terrorists behind the death of their sons and daughters to hand them over to the American justice system.
In an op-ed they jointly penned for the New York Times (NYT), Diane and John Foley; Marsha and Carl Mueller; Shirley and Arthur Sotloff; and Paula and Ed Kassig – the respective parents of James Foley, Kayla Mueller, Steven Sotloff, and Peter Kassig – wrote:
We want the world to know that we agree with the longstanding British government position that it would be a mistake to send killers like these to the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, or to seek the death penalty in court. Either path would make them martyrs in the eyes of their fanatic, misled comrades in arms — the worst outcome.
Instead, they should be tried in our fair and open legal system, or in a court of international justice, and then spend the rest of their lives in prison. That is what our children would have wanted.
The U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, known as Gitmo, is still holding 41 prisoners. U.S. President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order to keep the facility open with the option of sending newly captured jihadists to it.
However, it is unclear whether the Trump administration will send the two ISIS terrorists responsible for the deaths of the Americans highlighted in the op-ed — mainly by decapitation — to Gitmo.
The parents wrote:
One by one, our children … were taken from us by the hateful criminals of the Islamic State. Finally, the time for justice has come. Two Islamic State fighters, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh — part of a cell of British jihadists who tortured and killed our children in Syria — have been captured. We are deeply grateful to President Trump and the men and women of the F.B.I., the United States military and our allies in the Syrian Democratic Forces who apprehended these men in January.
The question now is what will happen to these deluded sadists, who remain in the custody of the Syrian Kurdish fighters who captured them. The F.B.I. has had access to interrogate them. The British government long ago rescinded their citizenship and seems to want nothing further to do with them. They should be brought to America to face our justice system.
The American Congress overrode a veto by former U.S. President Barack Obama, allowing passage of bipartisan legislation permitting the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the attack that killed nearly 3,000 people on American soil.
In recent years, authorities have linked several attacks committed in the United States and abroad that have resulted in American casualties to ISIS and its affiliates.
Just recently, a U.S. federal judge sentenced an al-Qaeda terrorist, identified as Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Harun, to life in prison for killing two American soldiers in an ambush in Afghanistan, saying “murderous zeal” filled the jihadist.
“Jim, Steven, Peter and Kayla were like so many of your own sons and daughters. They were four unique, passionate young Americans. They cared about others, which led them to Syria, for different purposes,” wrote the parents. “Jim and Steven were courageous conflict journalists, daring to bear witness to the Syrian thirst for freedom and the threat of violent jihad; Peter and Kayla were committed, compassionate humanitarians who responded to Syria’s suffering. All risked their lives pursuing a greater good, as our military does, and as many other journalists and humanitarians do.”