Terrorism threat is "substantial": Counterterror office

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The threat level in the Netherlands remains substantial with Dutch individuals joining Al-Qa'ida connected armed forces in Syria, and some returning after fighting in the conflict. The Dutch government primarily focuses on containing the problem and preventing recruiting activities, according to the website of the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV).

So far 100 individuals have left to join the fights in Syria, of which 70 are still there. Ten Dutch fighters have lost theirs lives in the ongoing war in Syria to date. Another 20 have returned, with or without combat experience.

All counter-terrorism parties have increased their efforts to contain the problem since early 2013, addressing the threat from different angles. Some 11 passports were invalidated, and more are being investigated, the NCTV said. The government is looking to expand the use of travel information for international cooperation.

The hunt is on for recruiters to bring them to justice. The efforts have already rendered some success. Some minors were prevented from traveling to Syria. They were placed in closed youth detention centers.

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