RELIGION

War crimes tribunal sought against Islamic State detainees

  • FILE - The sun sets as women visit a Yazidi shrine overlooking at Kankhe Camp for the internally displaced in Dahuk, northern Iraq, in this Wednesday, May 18, 2016 file photo. Lawyers in Europe investigating the Islamic State’s elaborate operation to kidnap thousands of women as sex slaves say they have enough evidence to try IS leaders with crimes against humanity, but two years after the IS onslaught against the Yazidi people, the Obama administration has made little effort to pursue prosecution. Current and former U.S. State Department officials say that a push for a legal finding of genocide in late 2014 was quashed by the Defense Department. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)

    FILE - The sun sets as women visit a Yazidi shrine overlooking at Kankhe Camp for the internally displaced in Dahuk, northern Iraq, in this Wednesday, May 18, 2016 file photo. Lawyers in Europe investigating the Islamic State’s elaborate operation to kidnap thousands of women as sex slaves say they have enough evidence to try IS leaders with crimes against humanity, but two years after the IS onslaught against the Yazidi people, the Obama administration has made little effort to pursue prosecution. Current and former U.S. State Department officials say that a push for a legal finding of genocide in late 2014 was quashed by the Defense Department. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - Clothing worn by a Yazidi girl enslaved by Islamic State militants, collected by a Yazidi activist to document Islamic State group crimes against the community, shown in this file photo taken May 22, 2016, in Dohuk, northern Iraq. Lawyers in Europe investigating the Islamic State’s elaborate operation to kidnap thousands of women as sex slaves say they have enough evidence to try IS leaders with crimes against humanity, but two years after the IS onslaught against the Yazidi people, the Obama administration has made little effort to pursue prosecution. Current and former U.S. State Department officials say that a push for a legal finding of genocide in late 2014 was quashed by the Defense Department. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)

    FILE - Clothing worn by a Yazidi girl enslaved by Islamic State militants, collected by a Yazidi activist to document Islamic State group crimes against the community, shown in this file photo taken May 22, 2016, in Dohuk, northern Iraq. Lawyers in Europe investigating the Islamic State’s elaborate operation to kidnap thousands of women as sex slaves say they have enough evidence to try IS leaders with crimes against humanity, but two years after the IS onslaught against the Yazidi people, the Obama administration has made little effort to pursue prosecution. Current and former U.S. State Department officials say that a push for a legal finding of genocide in late 2014 was quashed by the Defense Department. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this May 22, 2016 file photo, An activist looks at an Islamic State group marketplace on the encrypted app Telegram, advertising a 12-year-old Yazidi girl as a slave for the price of $12,500, in a photo taken in northern Iraq. "Peace be upon you and the mercy and blessings of God," the text reads in Arabic. "There is a female slave - Virgin - Beautiful - 12 years old - Her Arabic is weak - Clean - Her price has reached $12,500, and she will be sold soon. The photo is private. Only those who have the money may request the picture." Lawyers in Europe investigating the Islamic State’s elaborate operation to kidnap thousands of women as sex slaves say they have enough evidence to try IS leaders with crimes against humanity, but two years after the IS onslaught against the Yazidi people, the Obama administration has made little effort to pursue prosecution. Current and former U.S. State Department officials say that a push for a legal finding of genocide in late 2014 was quashed by the Defense Department. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)

    FILE - In this May 22, 2016 file photo, An activist looks at an Islamic State group marketplace on the encrypted app Telegram, advertising a 12-year-old Yazidi girl as a slave for the price of $12,500, in a photo taken in northern Iraq. "Peace be upon you and the mercy and blessings of God," the text reads in Arabic. "There is a female slave - Virgin - Beautiful - 12 years old - Her Arabic is weak - Clean - Her price has reached $12,500, and she will be sold soon. The photo is private. Only those who have the money may request the picture." Lawyers in Europe investigating the Islamic State’s elaborate operation to kidnap thousands of women as sex slaves say they have enough evidence to try IS leaders with crimes against humanity, but two years after the IS onslaught against the Yazidi people, the Obama administration has made little effort to pursue prosecution. Current and former U.S. State Department officials say that a push for a legal finding of genocide in late 2014 was quashed by the Defense Department. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)  (The Associated Press)

War crimes investigators collecting evidence of the Islamic State group's operation to kidnap thousands of women as sex slaves say they have a case to try IS leaders with crimes against humanity. But the investigators cannot get the global backing to bring detainees before an international tribunal.

Two years after the IS onslaught in Iraq, the investigators, as well as U.S. diplomats, say the Obama administration has done little to pursue prosecution of crimes that Secretary of State John Kerry called genocide. Current and former State Department officials say the Defense Department blocked an attempt to have a legal finding of genocide, setting back prosecution efforts.

Officials say that the Defense Department and ultimately the administration were concerned that trials would distract from the military campaign.