on air now

Terror expert wants returned IS fighters to mentor at-risk youth

A top counterterrorism analyst says returned foreign fighters who fought for Islamic State could be embedded into communities to mentor at-risk youth.

Former NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas says former IS soldiers could be used to deter young Muslims from following an extremist path.

Mr Kaldas tells Chris Smith the issue is “complex” but the returning jihadis could be presented as an example of what not to do.

“The reality is they’re citizens and you can’t not have them back,” he says.

“If we’re forced to have them back… I’m simply saying it may be worth considering that they could be of some use, in terms of being trotted out, I guess, as exhibit A for people. To discourage and deter others from following them.”

He says a number of checks and balances would have to be in place before his idea could become a reality.

“Our federal authorities would have to do a whole lot of work to make sure they are people who have repented.

“It depends obviously… about what they’ve done over there. Some may be simply too horrible to do anything with.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview