11 Radicalized Students Who Left Canada to Join ISIS Are Now On Their Way Back 

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A report by the Centre for Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence is turning our attentions to a significant problem many people never thought existed. The rise of ISIS saw many radicalized young individuals (including several Canadian Muslims) leave the comforts of their respective countries to take part in the global jihad.

Last year, a group of students from CEGEP found themselves influenced by teachings of radical Muslims in Canada and drawn towards the destructive agenda of the rising ISIS in Syria. Many left for Syria discreetly. Others were apprehended at the airport. The incident highlighted the dangers of radicalization for Canada’s youth. But the report has now turned our collective attentions to a new issue.

What would happen when they come back?

Was The School To Blame?

The report based its analyses on interviews with the friends and families of the students and the staff at the school. The findings of the report were made public on Friday. And there’s much to consider here.

“There is no ‘network’ or cell at Collège de Maisonneuve,” says Herman Deparice-Okomba, the director of CPRLV. “It’s just a matter of circumstance. These youths who knew each other in elementary school and high school found each other again in college. This could have happened anywhere. But the fact is their presence created tensions at the college.”

An Inquiry Into A Radicalized Mindset

The report presents fascinating insights into the process of radicalization. All of the eleven students were young adults, around 18 or 19 of age. Many of them had known each other since high school. There were three couples in the group.

All of this points to two important conclusions. First, the young mind is more susceptible to a radical outlook. Second, being emotionally associated with radicalized individuals can also influence other people. Although they appeared well-integrated, according to the report, their feelings of estrangement pushed them towards the path they chose.

And now they’re on their way back. How do you think these individuals should be treated?