President Donald Trump warned European countries Friday that if they did not agree to his request that they take captured ISIS fighters who originated in their countries back, he would release those accused terrorists along the borders of those countries.
As the yearslong battle against the Islamic State has dragged on, many ISIS fighters ended up in U.S. custody. While some of these terrorists were Syrian or Iraqi, others had moved to the Middle East to join ISIS. The United States has been trying to get other countries to take back their own citizens who had joined the terror group.
Speaking to the media at the White House on Friday, Trump said:
Now we have thousands of prisoners of war — ISIS fighters that are prisoners of war — and we're asking the countries from which they came … from Europe, We're asking them to take back these prisoners of war. And they can try them, do what they want. So far they've refused. And at some point I'm going to have to say, "I'm sorry, but you either take them back or we're gonna let them go at your border." But they came out from Germany, they came out from France. We captured them, we did everyone a big favor, we've taken over the caliphate 100 percent.
While most of ISIS' caliphate has been taken back from them, the much-weakened terror group does still hold some territory. Also, the scattered remnants in the group continue to commit acts of terrorism.
Now I want the countries to take back the captured ISIS fighters. And if they don't take them back we're going to probably put them at the border and then they'll have to capture them again.
The president also said that the cost of holding "thousands and thousands" of these suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay would be in the "billions and billions of dollars."