ISIS terror attack victims' relatives welcome news of 'evil' Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi's death

Relatives urge authorities to bring ISIS attackers to justice

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Relatives of victims killed in ISIS atrocities across Europe have welcomed the death of terrorist chief Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi but are calling for authorities to continue to bring perpetrators to justice.

On Monday the UN's ISIS investigative head Karim Khan said terrorists should be confronted with the evidence of their crimes in a court of law similar to the Nuremberg Nazi trials as he revealed evidence discovered with Al Baghdadi will help his investigation.

US President Donald Trump warned European allies that the US would release thousands of the group’s fighters back into Europe if their nations did not take them back.

Mike Haines, the brother of aid worker David Haines who was murdered by the terror group in 2014, described Al Baghdadi as evil but warned the poison of ISIS would continue unless action is taken.

“Al Baghdadi was responsible for countless disgusting and despicable acts," Mr Haines said.

"His evil and cowardly beliefs and actions lack any humanity and caused the death of many innocent people including my brother, thousands of Muslims throughout Syria and Iraq, and even his own three children who he dragged with him into a closed tunnel in his final moments.

“The confirmed death of Al Baghdadi is an important step in the continued downfall of Daesh. However, the poisonous ideology of Daesh has not died with Al Baghdadi.

"We must continue to work together to identify and stamp out the threat.”

Arthur Denouveaux, who survived the Paris Bataclan attack that killed more than 130 people in 2015, is now president of the association Life for Paris, which represents the victims of the attacks.

Mr Denouveaux said relatives were not seeking revenge but want to see justice served.

“The search for justice is very different from sending an air raid from US special forces,” he said.

“However, the death of the Daesh leader is symbolically a major blow to the terrorist group's operational capabilities and is part of its military defeat, no doubt announced too soon.

“It is reassuring to see the group continues to lose leaders and territories. It is fundamental to continue the fight for the security of the region.

“It is clear that Al Baghdadi had a very symbolic role within Daesh. It was he who galvanised the troops. He concentrated a power of fascination and recruitment.

"However, in my opinion, it is still too early to know what impact his death will have on the endogenous threat.”

Mr Khan said US troops found valuable information and evidence, which he says will definitely help to bring those responsible for atrocities to justice.

On Al Baghdadi’s suicide, he said: “Very often, as we have seen with Hitler, people who have clear cases to answer for their terrible crimes do not want to face accusations and choose instead to take the coward’s way out rather than defend the policies they were advocating.”

During Al Baghdadi’s leadership, ISIS claimed responsibility for attacks in dozens of cities including Paris, Nice, Manchester and London.

In the 2017 Manchester Arena attack at an Ariana Grande concert, suicide bomber Salman Abedi murdered 22 people.

Charlotte Coleman, whose daughter Olivia died in the attack, said: “If they've killed him, good on them. No one will ever forget what they've done.”

Footage has since emerged of associates of Abedi and of the London Bridge attackers swearing allegiance to Al Baghdadi.

UK radical preacher Anjem Choudary, who is believed to be responsible for inspiring thousands of ISIS followers across Europe, was found to have sworn allegiance to Al Baghdadi three days after he declared his caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Al Baghdadi’s death was “an important moment in our fight against terror” but warned: “The battle against the evil of Daesh is not yet over.

“We will work with our coalition partners to bring an end to the murderous, barbaric activities of Daesh once and for all.”

After his announcement on Al Baghdadi’s death, Mr Trump warned he would drop captured fighters at the borders of their homelands if European allies failed to take responsibility for them.

“They came from France, they came from Germany, they came from the UK. They came from a lot of countries,” he said.

“And I actually said to them, 'If you don’t take them, I’m going to drop them right on your border and you can have fun capturing them again'.”

About 800 ISIS fighters of European origin are being detained in northern Syria by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, along with thousands of women and children.

In August, former defence minister Tobias Ellwood warned that the detention of thousands of fighters and their families in Syria could fuel an ISIS rsurgeance.

On Sunday it was revealed the UK government is considering plans to repatriate up to 60 youngsters, including orphans, who are the children of British ISIS fighters stranded in Syrian camps.

A minister told The Sunday Times newspaper that Mr Johnson had made the decision and that each child was being considered "on a case by case basis".

Politician David Davis has warned that the UK needs to repatriate the youngsters to prevent them becoming enemies of the state in the future.

“The 60 British children caught in the violence in north-east Syria must be repatriated," Mr Davis tweeted.

"If we to do nothing, we will see these children again. But it will not be as functioning members of society. It will be as our enemy on the battlefields of the future.”

The Charity Save the Children revealed that many of the youngsters are aged under five and are enduring “dire conditions” in the camps.

Human rights campaigner Bahia Mardini, founder of Syrian House, went to the UK after fleeing violence in Syria and was pleased with the news of Al Baghdadi's death.

“The news represents an important chapter in the struggle against terrorism in Syria," Ms Mardini said.

"As Syrians reflect on the devastation and destruction that Daesh has caused, we celebrate this important step towards the end of the organisation more fully.

“However, we must not forget the struggle Syrians face today and the work which still needs to be done.

"There is still a need to end all terrorist organisations, end the Assad regime, establish a just government and bring peace to my homeland.”

But Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned: “This is a many-headed monster. As you cut one off, another one inevitably arises.”

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