Issue of ex-Islamic radicals heading home 'very complex' - Portugal

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 19-02-2019 06:41:00 · 1 Comments
Issue of ex-Islamic radicals heading home 'very complex' - Portugal

Portugal’s minister of foreign affairs said on Monday that the issue of Portuguese citizens with links to Islamic radicalism was "very complex", because the state should provide protection to its nationals, but that he does not want in Portugal "people who may constitute a threat."

At the end of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers heads of diplomacy of in Brussels, Augusto Santos Silva confirmed that one of the points addressed in the meeting, as part of a discussion on the situation in Syria, was the call made by the US president, Donald Trump, to EU member states to take back and try former combatants from the Islamic State/Daesh group detained in Syria – a problem that EU ministers warned would "not be so easy" to solve.

"This is not easily resolved, this is not just a matter of making a statement," said Santos Silva, stressing that "this situation is very complex" because it involves weighing up factors such as the duty to provide consular protection to a country’s citizens, but also taking into account national security obligations.

In the case of Portugal, where Santos Silva said that the issue is on a "very small" scale compared with some other EU member States, he cited the cases of two Portuguese citizens detained in a camp in Syria after being captured by Kurdish forces from the terrorist group that they have been involuntarily joined as family members, and who had requested assistance from the Portuguese authorities.

"Yes, we have information about the presence of people who are or have been linked to Daesh fighters in Syria,” he said. “Some of these people have descendants in their charge, children, and we have received information about difficult conditions that we can easily imagine these people and children are facing.”

As Portuguese citizens, he stressed, “these people have the right to consular protection", but this “has to be exercised taking into account the other variables that are at stake here, the principal of which is a factor relating to Portuguese national security and, secondly, to the obligations of Portugal as a member of the international anti-Daesh coalition and as a member of the EU and NATO" – the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

"So this situation is very complex, because at the same time we have to weigh up matters relating to the protection of our compatriots, whatever they have done and wherever they are and whatever the situation they are experiencing” and on the other hand "issues relating to the national security of Portugal and the safety of the Portuguese" back home, he said.

"We do not want in Portugal people who may pose a threat to the way of life, values and people of the Portuguese," he added, noting that Portuguese citizens have also been victims of terrorist attacks in other countries.

Regarding Trump's call, Santos Silva says that, as always, Europeans listened "carefully" to statements from their "American friends and allies", but insisted that the issue should be resolved in a coordinated and careful manner.

In the case of Portugal, he said, the goal is to seek "a solution that will never be the best possible, because the best possible was that these people did not let themselves embark on an adventure … or … had not accepted to be part, direct or Indirectly, of one of the most sinister organisations that threatens freedom, democracy and security."


Being British, relocated to Portugal after 22 years in South Africa, and have experienced the infiltration of radicalism/racialism, as the minister stated allowing such people to return to what is now a democratic country is complex. It is obvious, as happen in South Africa, people such as the self-proclaimed “Ex-Islamic? Radicals” have received training and indoctrination in the art of passive persuasion. As such, they would be very proficient in putting forward a highly plausible story as to the request for forgiveness and what a treble mistake it was when really it quite often is no more than pack of lies. If they are able to pass whatever screening is put in place it should be possible to a.) Remove their citizenship. b.) to be registered as a temper resident. c.) to be deported or jailed without question should they show and any signs or action linked to radicalism and or hate speech. It more a case of prove that you have reformed and in time you will regain your civil rights. So many countries have taken a soft humanitarian approach and allowed such people into their county only to find out later that they not Ex-Radicals at all who have become establish and are not able to be deported.

by Ian Macvkie from Other on 20-02-2019 10:28:00
Interactive Topics, send us your comments/opinion on this article.

Please note that The Portugal News may use selected comments in the printed edition of the newspaper.