Two Dutch ISIS women, three children escaped Syrian camp, fled to Turkey

Women and children in a refugee camp
Women and children in a refugee campPhoto: radekprocyk/DepositPhotos

Two Dutch women and three children escaped a Syrian prison camp in Al Hol and reported to the Dutch embassy in the Turkish capital of Ankara with a request to return to the Netherlands, the government said in a letter to parliament on Thursday. "The women and children are currently in Turkish detention, awaiting prosecution and/or deportation by the Turkish authorities", the government wrote, reports.

These are two women with dual nationality who left the Netherlands to go to Syria and are suspected of terrorist crimes. One woman has one child with her, the other has two. The children are three and four years old. The government said the five escaped the camp "some weeks ago", so likely before the Turkish military offensive on northern Syria

The Dutch government withdrew the Dutch nationality of one of the two women. She is Fatima H. from Tilburg, according to the newspaper. The measure still has to be reviewed by the court, but she can already not claim consular assistance from the Netherlands. "With regard to the other woman, the withdrawal of Dutch nationality is not an option at the moment", the government said. She will likely be sent back to the Netherlands under guard for trial.

If it can be established that the women are the children's mothers, they have Dutch nationality and will be brought to the Netherlands. The Child Care and Protection Board has prepared a plan to care for these children.

According to the latest report from intelligence service AIVD, there are 55 Dutch adults and 90 Dutch children staying in refugee and prison camps in Syria. The Ministry of Justice and Security would not confirm to that the two women and three children who escaped belong to this group. The Ministry would also not say whether more Dutch people escaped. 

Attorneys for 23 women also said on Friday they planned to go to court to allow their 56 children to return to the Netherlands.