The ‘returnees’ of Syria and Iraq: between threat and the challenge of reintegration
By Thomas Renard, in conversation with Thomas Gadisseux
Wednesday 7 November 2018, at 7 pm

Practical Information

Since 2012, nearly 5000 Europeans have left for Syria and Iraq, many to fight alongside jihadist forces. Some of them have already returned, while quite a few – some 2500 according to certain estimates – still remain in place, but could return in the foreseeable future. Who are these ‘returnees’? How are they monitored when they come back? How do they reintegrate? Do they pose a threat? These sensitive and difficult questions will be at the heart of this lecture’s discussions.

Thomas Renard is a Senior Researcher at the Egmont Institute, one of Brussel’s leading research centres on international politics. He has been a specialist on issues of the fight against terrorism and radicalisation for more than 10 years.

He has published numerous studies on the subject, which he has discussed in various spaces, notably at the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the United Nations. His most recent published studies on the subject include Children in the Levant: Insights from Belgium on the dilemmas of repatriation and the challenges of reintegration (Egmont Institute, July 2018) and Returnees: who are they, why are they (not) coming back and how should we deal with them? Assessing policies on returning foreign terrorist fighters in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands (Egmont Institute, February 2018).

Thomas Renard is a graduate of George Washington University and the University of Louvain.

Thomas Gadisseux is a political journalist at the RTBF (radio and television).

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