February 17, 2018

‘Harassed, detained, prosecuted’: Western anti-Daesh fighters feel betrayed

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Source: Arab News

Journalist Olivia Cuthbert

LONDON: To some, they are freedom fighters, willing to risk their lives in defense of a persecuted people, but others take a dimmer view of the Western volunteers battling Daesh alongside Kurdish forces in Syria.

On Wednesday, James Matthews, a former British soldier who fought with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) against Daesh in Syria, was charged with terror-related offenses, making him the first Briton to be prosecuted for helping a group backed by the UK government overseas.

Matthews pleaded not guilty to a charge of attending a place or places where training was provided “for purposes connected with the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism.” Another former volunteer, student Joshua Walker, was acquitted in October 2017 of terror charges for possessing a copy of the “The Anarchist Cookbook.”

Read the full article in Arab News here.

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. He is also a Senior Analyst at the Jamestown Found...