Trump Threatens to Release ISIS Prisoners to Europe’s Border

Says US won't keep thousands of ISIS at Guantanamo Bay

In comments to reporters this weekend, President Trump focused on the thousands of ISIS prisoners currently being held in Syria, complaining that France and Germany are refusing to take any of their own citizens back among them.

Trump declared “I defeated the Caliphate,” and complaining that “now we have thousands of prisoners of war,” though the US involvement in holding them appears minimal, and the Kurdish YPG are the ones actually managing this major detention camp.

Neither France nor Germany has expressed a lot of interest in repatriating hundreds or thousands of citizens, though Trump’s anger in that is difficult to justify, since the US is also trying to weasel its way out of taking back detainees by stripping them of citizenship.

Trump says ultimately he won’t spend billions and billions of dollars holding all the prisoners of war, and instead “we’re going to probably put them at the border and then they’ll have to capture them again.”

French nationals were always believed to be one of the largest sources of ISIS fighters. Large numbers of ISIS-linked citizens has been a fear for France for when the war was over, and they seem to prefer to pretend those fighters don’t exist, instead of them all being herded into a single camp in the Syrian desert.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.