After Daniel Burke heard the news of the Manchester Arena bombing that killed 22 attendees in 2017, the British Army veteran decided to join the Kurdish resistance to help them fight and destroy ISIS.
In his days with the Kurds, he often contacted the British counter-terrorism unit with many various intelligence materials useful for national security, which he claims was so valuable that it might have saved more innocent lives. However, what the British authorities gave to him in turn was eight months in Wandsworth prison, culminating to ‘no charges’ by the court this week. Daniel says that the whole thing devastated him. It enraged him so much that at the time of his arrest, he was known to have shouted: ‘I’m not a terrorist. You know I’m not a terrorist. I’ve done nothing but fight for this country. This is a f****** joke.’
Burke gives the suggestion for the sudden change of treatment by his very own nation he vowed to protect to geopolitical changes of air.After the US withdrew support from the Kurds last year, he knew his former Kurdish comrades needed the support from the outside to survive.
In his efforts to help the Kurds from being wiped out altogether by Turkey, he contacted the US humanitarian organization Shadows of Hope, which helps conflict zones and aid them in much needed aid issues.He did not proceed at once to sponsor their causes, while he purchased a land in Barcelona to build a rehabilitation center for PTSD victims.
However, these consecutive actions – contacting an organization that might “support terrorism” and trying to “build a school” which might harbor insurgents – have made him to get arrested and then sent to Wandsworth prison: ‘It was a culture shock.
Most people there seemed to be gangsters.At first, I lied about why I was there. If I’d said I was in for terrorism offences, the Muslims would have assumed I was a neo-Nazi; the skinheads, that I was jihadi. ’
The wrongful treatment lasted for 8 months, with the pre-trial hearing taking place six weeks ago with a refusal by the court to grant him bail for the case against him was supposed to be ‘strong and compelling’.
Last Monday, the mood changed, with all charges dropped.A determining factor may have been a document submitted by the head of Daniel’s defence team, Andrew Hall QC, arguing that for a fair trial, the CPS must disclose details of the Government’s dealings with Turkey, and whether the decision to prosecute him had anything to do with a political decision to improve diplomatic and trade links.
His freedom aside, Burke is angry at the UK’s failure to address Turkey properly: ‘I don’t know why the West is letting them get away with it,’ he says.
‘They’re using ex-Al Qaeda and ISIS as proxy fighters, while in the north, the caliphate is back.After we worked so hard, and lost so many in the fight against IS, it’s tough to take. ’
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