Disinfo: Trump threatens to release thousands of ISIS members in Europe


US president Donald Trump threatened to release thousands of members of the Islamic State terrorist group captured in Syria in Europe if European countries don’t take them back.


This is a deliberate distortion of Donald Trump's words, who on February 2019 requested "Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters [...] captured in Syria and put them on trial", warning that otherwise the US forces would be "forced to release them". But he didn't threaten to do that in Europe.

This is part of the recurrent Russian narrative about a US instrumentalisation of jihadist groups in the Middle East. You can see other examples of it here, here, here and here.


  • Reported in: Issue 159
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/08/2019
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Iraq, Syria
  • Keywords: Europe, Daesh


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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The Pentagon doesn’t want to renounce Russian and Chinese equipment and software

The Pentagon continues buying equipment and software of Chinese and Russian production, despite the warning of US authorities about an alleged security threat.


The affirmation is false, based in a distorted reading of a report by the Office of the Inspector General of the US Department of Defense. According to this document, in fiscal year 2018 the Pentagon spent around 32,8 million dollars in products of Russian and Chinese firms such as Kaspersky Lab and Lenovo. The report’s title is: “Audit of the DoD’s Management of the Cybersecurity Risks for Government Purchase Card Purchases of Commercial Off-the-Shelf Items”, and it is actually a warning against the potential risk posed by these firms for US national security.

The report was commissioned after the Department of Defense started to compile a ‘do not buy’ list of software by mid-2018, with the stated goal of minimising that risk and keeping code created in Russia and China out of its systems. To conclude from this document that the Pentagon continues buying this equipment and software is an interested lie.

Protests in Georgia caused serious damage to the country’s economics

Georgia fully depends not on its number one strategic partner – the United States, not on its “historical family” – Europe, but on “occupier” Russia. Only one threat from Moscow about banning Georgian imports has caused unprecedented depreciation of GEL (Georgian Lari) and resulted in record-high fuel prices. These developments are also causing damage to one of the few profitable branches of Georgia’s economy – tourism.


These statements are untrue. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative as if without Russian market Georgian economy will collapse.

Contribution of Russian tourists to Georgia’s economy is 1.8%, while arrivals from Russia by plane represent 0.5%. Despite the decrease of Russian tourists after Russia banned direct flights to Georgia, as a whole, during the first two weeks of July 2019, the number of tourists in Georgia increased by 3.2% y/y.

Washington is entirely responsible for the termination of the INF treaty

The United States launched a whole propaganda campaign to accuse Russia of violating the INF Treaty. Washington, itself, ignored the claims of the Russian side about violations of the INF treaty for many years. The American side has specifically undermined the viability of the treaty.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the US is entirely responsible for the demise of the INF treaty.

Russia bears primary responsibility for the end of the INF Treaty, because it has produced, tested and deployed the 9M729 missile, which violates the agreement. In July 2014, the then-US President Obama officially accused Russia of testing a missile in violation of the INF Treaty, which prohibits the US or Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of between 500 and 5500 kilometres.