One Dutch in Iraqi custody on terrorism charges
One Dutch person is in custody in Iraq on suspicion of terrorism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed to Nieuwsuur. As far as the Ministry knows, there are no other cases against Dutch in the country. Whether the Dutch person is male or female, is unclear.
Thousands of people are in custody in Iraq on suspicion of terrorism. On Tuesday a Belgian jihadist was sentenced to death in Baghdad for belonging to a terrorist organization. His hearing lasted only 10 minutes, according to Nieuwsuur.
"We regularly check with the authorities in Iraq whether people with Dutch nationality are in custody in connection with terrorism", a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said to RTL Nieuws. He confirmed that the Ministry is aware of only one terrorism case involving a Dutch person.
According to intelligence service AIVD, some 300 Dutch traveled to Iraq and Syria with jihadist intentions over the past years. Most of them joined terrorist organization Islamic State. Of them around 75 were killed an about 50 since returned to the Netherlands.
Whether any Dutch are in custody in Syria, is unclear. The Netherlands has no official relations with Syria. "It then becomes very difficult, in terms of insight into possible detainees and the provision of consular assistance", the Ministry spokesperson said to RTL. He emphasized that in principle, all Dutch are entitled to consular assistance from the Netherlands.