Eight suspected Dutch jihadists added to terrorist watch list

Another eight suspected Dutch jihadists have been added to the national terrorist watch list, bringing the total number of people and organizations on this list up to 40. These eight people ware believed to be involved in terrorist activities in Syria and Iraq, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday.

As with all people and organization on the national terrorist list, the bank accounts and credit cards of these eight new suspected jihadists have been frozen. This makes it more difficult for them to do shopping or transfer money to people who are in the Netherlands but wish to join terrorist groups, according to the Ministry. It is also illegal to provide financial resources to people on the list.

"We need to block the flow of money to these people, because they, as co-perpetrators or accomplices, contribute to the relentless violence in that region (Syria and Iraq, ed)", Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs said. "Moreover, we must prevent these people returning to the Netherlands to commit violence here. The freezing of funds reduces this potential risk."

Based on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373, the Netherlands is obliged to impose financial and economic restrictive measures against individuals and organizations who commit, attempt to commit, or facilitate terrorist acts. These people and organizations are identified based on a court conviction, an investigation by the Public Prosecutor or an official report by the General Intelligence and Security Service, known as the AIVD.

The national terrorist list is part of the approach against so-called Foreign Terrorist Fighters - people who wish to travel abroad to join a terrorist organization such as Islamic State. This approach consists of a series administrative and legal measures, such as revoking passports.