Netherlands adding child soldiers as young as 9 to terrorism list

Child soldier (Photo: Unknown/Wikimedia Commons). (Child soldier (Photo: Unknown/Wikimedia Commons))

Children taking part in the conflict in Syria can be a considered a threat from the age of 9 years and will henceforth be added to the terrorism list in the Netherlands, intelligence service AIVD confirmed to the Volkskrant. 

In a publication released in January, the AIVD revealed that from the age of 9 years boys in the ISIS caliphate are sent to military training camps. They are trained in firearms and stabbing weapons, practice executions and swear allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. Girls of that age start wearing veils in public and are trained in how to assist their future husband in the armed struggle.

The AIVD believes that this is enough to consider these children dangerous, also to the Netherlands if kids travel back with their family. The intelligence service will therefore give each Dutch child known to be in the conflict zone its own file and register them on the terrorism list. That information can also be shared with other services.

So far about 250 adults left from the Netherlands to go to the ISIS conflict zone in Syria. 42 of them were killed and 40 returned. According to the AIVD there are also about 70 Dutch minors in the caliphate.