Dutch freezing 39 suspected terrorists' assets

Bert Koenders (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)Bert Koenders (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)

The number of names on the Netherlands' national terrorism list doubled over the past year. There are now 39 individuals and three organizations on the list, Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs announced on Sunday, on the eve of of a large international conference on terrorism in The Hague. In March last year, there were 19 people on the list.

About 250 politicians and experts, representing 50 countries will be taking part in the conference on Monday. The participants include about 15 to 20 Ministers and Secretaries of State and representatives of anti-terrorism organization Global Counterterrorism Forum, the Anti-Isis coalition, Europol, Interpol, the United States and the European Union. The conference was arranged on Koenders' initiative.

The conference will focus on three key topics - Share, Stop, Secure. Share is about the sharing of information. Stop involves the fight against Foreign Terrorist Fighters. And Secure is about protecting citizens from terrorism.

Those on the Netherlands' terrorism list have their assets frozen, denying them access to their bank accounts and credit cards. According to Koenders, this is an effective measure. "It decreases the risk that people come back from Syria or Iraq to commit attacks here. It also ensures that these people no longer have access to there financial means to afford attacks." he said.

According to the Foreign Affairs Minister, the list and measures related to it must be extended. "This is a good start. Every year world wide more people travel abroad to join a terrorist organization. We therefore need to intensify the policy to be more effective - not only in the Netherlands, but also internationally." At the conference the minister will advocate that details on frozen assets be shared world wide.