More prosecutors readied for jihadist cases

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The Public Prosecutor has appointed seven additional prosecutors to handle jihad suspects.

According to Public Prosecutor boss Herman Bolhaar, there is currently 30 investigations against 60 Dutch suspects. The extra prosecutors are being deployed because the files are piling up.

Two prosecutors will go to work at the National Prosecutor - the Public Prosecutor component which deals with the fight against national and international organized crimes. The other five will work in The Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Arnhem, where most Dutch jihad suspects live.

The Public Prosecutor is working along with the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD). The two authorities consult with each other regularly. "You can almost speak of an online relationship between the National Prosecutor, the AIVD and the National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism and Security" Bolhaar said in De Telegraaf.

According to Bolhaar a distinction must be made between severe cases and followers when it comes to jihad suspects. "The first category you investigate seriously and impose severe punishment if necessary, but the people you can still keep inboard, you offer assistance like deradicalization programs or help in preventing school absenteeism."

Bolhaar says it is positive that Moroccan parents have set up a network of confidants with whom information may be shared on radicalizing young people. The families of these young people are seriously concerned and have in some cases reported to the police themselves, he says.