US President Donald Trump has once again threatened to set free European members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group captured in Syria and Iraq if their countries decline to take back the captives.
Trump late on Saturday singled out France and Germany from among European nations that their citizens had joined ranks of Daesh wreaking havoc in the Middle East, and said Washington would release those captured at the EU’s borders if the bloc refused to cooperate.
"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 going to let them go at your border,” he said.
Trump stressed that Washington “is not going to have thousands and thousands of people” held at Guantanamo Bay, where a notorious American prison for terrorists is located, for the next 50 years and claimed the US was “spending billions and billions of dollars” on that issue.
"We've done Europe a tremendous favor. 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," Trump said.
According to the European Commission, 42,000 foreign militants from over 120 countries joined the Daesh terrorist outfit between 2011 and 2016, with 5,000 of them allegedly coming from from Europe.
This is not the first time that the US president has warned European countries about the consequences of being uncooperative with regard to the situation of the imprisoned Daesh members.
In August, Trump warned that Washington was prepared to set free some 2,500 Daesh prisoners into countries in Europe if those states refused to take them back voluntarily.
“You’ll always gonna have somebody around, but right now we’ve captured over 10,000 – we have 2,500 ISIL fighters that we want Europe to take, because they were going back into Europe, into France, into Germany, into various places,” Trump said at the time, using an acronym for Daesh.
“So we have thousands of ISIS fighters that we want Europe to take and let’s see if that take them. And if they don’t take them, we’ll probably have to release them,” he added.
Trump also threatened in February to release the captives but European countries have yet to act upon his demands.
Extremists from across Europe joined Daesh in droves in 2014, when the Takfiri terror group launched its campaign of death and destruction in Iraq and Syria.
Back then, many European leaders ignored repeated warnings that militants could return home one day and that they would be a serious security challenge across the continent.
They instead allowed their nationals to join the Takfiri terror outfit in the hope that they would help topple Syrian President Bashar Assad. To that aim, the United States also supported Daesh and intentionally paved the way for it to gain power in Syria.