Dutch jihadists should die before returning to Netherlands: Prime Minister Rutte

Prime Minister Mark Rutte thinks it is better if Dutch jihadists who traveled to join the fight in Syria and Iraq die there instead of returning to the Netherlands. He said this in the RTL election debate last night.

This statement met opposition from all the other party leaders involved in the debate, with the exception of Geert Wilders (PVV), who was absent due to illness.

Alexander Pechtold (D66) called Rutte's (VVD) position "unworthy of a Prime Minister" and stated that Rutte was expressing the ideas of Wilders by endorsing the position. "I find that you really can not say: go die in the desert" Pechtold thinks that the Netherlands should bring returned jihadists to justice.

The Prime Minister is certain that the majority of Dutch people agree with him. "Because what do these people who travel to Syria and Iraq do? They go there to commit the most horrible attacks, to learn how to build bombs, how to take away a lot of lives. Then they come pack to commit those attacks in our society." Rutte stated that he would prefer to stop jihadists traveling to those countries, but if he had to choose, he would rather they die there.


Sybrand Buma (CDA) thinks that returned jihadists should be arrested. According to him it is currently way to easy for them to return and then disappear from the radar. Diederik Samsom mentioned the mother who went to Syria to bring her daughter back. "You do not wish on any mother that her child dies in a senseless war", he said. Emile Roemer (SP) thinks that more effort should be put into deradicalizing young people.