Iraq is to prosecute at least 100 European Daesh terrorists, most of whom face the death penalty, says Belgium’s ambassador to the country.
The envoy Jawad al-Chlaihawi made the remarks to Belgium’s RTBF broadcaster on Sunday.
Among those detained are Belgians and Russians, as well as terrorists from Chechnya, and Central Asia, he said.
Reports say some of the European Takfiris hail from France and Germany, while many are from former Soviet countries and Turkey.
Extremists from those countries, as well as from elsewhere across Europe, notably Britain, joined the Takfiri terror group in droves in 2014, when Daesh launched its campaign of bloodshed and destruction against Iraq and Syria.
At the time, many European leaders ignored repeated warnings that hardened militants could return home one day and carry out attacks.
In March 2016, Brussels’ airport and metro came under Daesh attacks, which killed 32 people.
Daesh attacked locations in and around Paris in November 2015, killing 130 people. An official at the French president’s office said in late September that about 700 French nationals, among them 500 children, were living in the Daesh-controlled areas of Iraq and Syria.
Last December, a Daesh terrorist drove a truck into a crowded market in Berlin, killing at least 12 people. In July, Iraqi officials said 26 foreigners, including four German women, had been arrested in the northern city of Mosul.
The Belgian ambassador said Iraq was holding around 1,400 family members of suspected Daesh members, including children, near Mosul, which was liberated from Daesh earlier in the year.
“We are holding the Daesh families under tight security measures and waiting for government orders on how to deal with them,” Iraqi Army Colonel Ahmed al-Taie told Reuters.
“We treat them well. They are families of tough criminals who killed innocents in cold blood, but when we interrogated them we discovered that almost all of them were misled by a vicious Daesh propaganda.”
Chlaihawi told the broadcaster that Iraq was working with European governments to determine what should happen to them, but some did not want to receive them.