Returning jihadists a greater concern in the future, says government aide

The Dutch jihadists who are still fighting for ISIS in Syria and Iraq form a "greater risk" for the Netherlands when they return than the current group of returnees, a Ministry of Security and Justice official said on Wednesday, NRC reports.

This "second generation" of jihadists are more "trained and battle-hardened" and "might be willing to carry out an attack here", the official, who is involved in counterterrorism, said at a seminar about radicalization in Utrecht. They spent much longer on the battlefield than the current group of jihadists and were promoted.

So far about 40 jihadists returned to the Netherlands. As far as is known, some 140 Dutch jihadists are currently fighting in Syria and Iraq.

According to the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security's last threat analysis in November, most returning jihadists "posed no threat of violence" and are often people who "were disappointed by their experiences in the conflict areas".

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