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Terrorist travellers can be rehabilitated, leading expert insists

Terrorist travellers can be rehabilitated, leading expert insists
Canada
Fighters from the Islamic State group are seen firing weapons toward Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen, in Deir el-Zour province, Syria on Tuesday, June. 28, 2016. (Militant photo via AP)

Published Sunday, November 26, 2017 5:13PM EST

OTTAWA -- A leading researcher on terrorist travellers says returnees to Canada can be rehabilitated, as those who come back to their home countries are often disillusioned or traumatized.

Lorne Dawson, sociology professor at the University of Waterloo, says others feel they have done their duty to defend Muslim lands and want to lead a more normal life.

Dawson, project director for the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society, says rehabilitation requires careful effort, but Canada has been slow in building this capacity.

Canada s spy agency has said it is aware of 180 individuals with a nexus to Canada who are suspected of terrorist activity abroad.

Half of these individuals are believed to have travelled to Syria or Iraq.

Dawson says his researchers know of about a dozen jihadist returnees to Canada from the Syrian-Iraqi conflict.
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