The United States has brought a U.S. citizen thought to have joined ISIS back to the U.S. to stand trial, according to a CNN report.
Here’s what we know
A Pentagon spokesperson told CNN in a statement:
The Department of Defense assisted in the movement of a US national from Syria to the United States. He was previously held by Syrian Democratic Forces as a suspected member of ISIS
The Syrian Democratic Forces are a Kurdish-led, U.S.-backed group fighting against the Islamic State and the forces of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. The Kurds are an ethnic group allied with the United States in the fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
According to CNN, the Syrian Democratic Forces have almost 2,000 prisoners who are suspected to have been ISIS fighters. Many of these prisoners came from outside Iraq and Syria to join the Islamist militant group.
The spokesperson also told CNN that the prisoner “was transferred to the U.S. for prosecution. As a matter of policy, DOD does not discuss matters of litigation; so for further details, please contact the Department of Justice.”
The DOJ, however, refused to provide any comment to CNN.
According to NPR, about 300 U.S. citizens have at least tried to join ISIS since its founding. The U.S. has been fighting ISIS in the Middle East since 2014. Recently, ISIS has lost nearly all its territory. However, the Department of Defense still views it as a “significant threat,” since it still has many adherents loyal to its cause.
The U.S. has been trying to convince other countries to take back their citizens who were captured while fighting for ISIS for prosecution, rather than leaving them as the responsibility of the Kurds and other groups in the region.