ISIS won't hesitate to use kids in terrorist attacks in Europe: Dutch terrorism boss

Dutch foreign rebel fighters in the Syrian Civil War that return to the Netherlands pose a risk to the safety of the country, this includes returning children, according to a Terrorist Threat Assessment for the Netherlands published by the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security on Thursday. ISIS won't hesitate to use children to commit terrorist attacks, according to the report, ANP reports.

"Children are spoon fed extremist values and do not have to be converted", according to an accompanying study by the Coordinator and intelligence service AIVD. "Minors in the 'caliphate' are taught from a young age that anyone who does not adhere to the correct interpretation of Islam must be slain."

The Coordinator fears that kids in the caliphate are being indoctrinated and prepared to use violence when they return to their home countries. "Children are portrayed as fighters, as happy and free. The propaganda says a lot about the role ISIS gives kids." He adds however that children are firstly victims of ISIS. "Therefore upon their return we look at what care, safety measures and interventions are appropriate."

There are currently about 190 Dutch with jihadist intentions in the ISIS proclaimed caliphate in Syria and Iraq. This includes between 15 and 20 Dutch kids over the age of 9, which is when combat training starts. There are also about 60 or 70 younger Dutch kids in the ISIS area. 

The threat level in the Netherlands remains high. The risk of attack is real, but there are no concrete indications that one is planned. The threat level is at four on a scale of five. The biggest threat still comes from jihadists, though the National Coordinator is also concerned about attacks from right-wing extremists. Though there are no concrete indications of such an attack either.