Hague confiscation of suspected jihadists' passports justified: Council of State

The municipality of The Hague was justified in withdrawing the passports of two men who were suspected of planning to join jihadist groups in Syria or Iraq in 2015, the Council of State ruled on Wednesday, RTL Nieuws reports.

The court in The Hague previously also ruled that the passport confiscation was justified. The two men appealed.

Jozias van Aartsen, mayor of The Hague at the time, declared the two men's passports invalid at the request of the Minister of Home Affairs. He received information from the National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism and Security that the men were engaged in the radical jihad and planned to join the war in Syria or Iraq. 

One of the men was stopped at the Greek-Turkish border with a sleeping bag, a large amount in cash, and in the company of a known radicalized person. The other one made statements in the Netherlands about his impending departure to Syria and had a large amount of jihadist literature in his possession.

The Council of State ruled that these were sufficient reasons to suspect that the men were planning to join a jihadist group in Syria or Iraq, and for their passports to be confiscated. The Council did note that the mayor should not have done so based on the National Coordinator's judgment alone however. 

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