The Ministry of Foreign Affairs accidentally released the name of two groups in Syria that received non-lethal aid from the Netherlands, after previously declaring these names state secret for security reasons. The names were unveiled in approximately 2 thousand pages of documents that were released at the request of Nieuwsuur and Trouw.
The Netherlands was well aware of human rights violations committed by Syrian rebel movement Jabhat al-Shamiya when the country started offering them logistical support, Nieuwsuur and Trouw report based on emails sent between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and human rights organization Amnesty International in the summer of 2016.
Although the jihadist threat changed over he past months, the threat in the Netherlands remains substantial at 4 on a scale of 5, the national coordinator for counter terrorism and security NCTV said on Monday. That means that there is a real probability of an attack in the Netherlands, but there are no concrete indications that one is being planned, ANP reports.
In 2015 a large number of jihadists were arrested and convicted in Europe for the execution or preparation of terrorist crimes. Many of them will be released from custody in 2023, and can then pose a threat again, according to think tank Globsec. The think tank did research on 197 convicted jihadists in 11 European countries, including the Netherlands, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Dutch government supported Jabhat al-Shamiya, an armed group in Syria that the Public Prosecutor labeled terrorist, according to research by Nieuwsuur and Trouw. A Dutch man is currently being prosecuted for participating in this group. The indictment states that Jabhat al-Shamiya is "salafist and jihadist", "strives for the establishment of a caliphate", and "can't be otherwise qualified" than as a "criminal organization with terrorist intent", Nieuwsuur reports.
The El Tawheed mosque in Amsterdam-West provided shelter to Muslim extremists, some of whom later joined terrorist organization ISIS, the Telegraaf reports based on a photo. Police sources told the newspaper that the photo shows a director of the mosque with four extremists.
Dutch soldiers are again allowed to wear their uniforms in public. Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense lifted the ban that was implemented in 2014 due to an increased threat of attacks on soldiers by jihadists, according to a Defense memorandum that will be published on Monday, ANP reports.
"The army has the task of protecting our kingdom and its allies. So it is also important that you are recognizable and approachable", the Minister said. According to her, the ban is being lifted at the express wish of Dutch soldiers.
Around 175 Dutch children are currently in the former ISIS area in Syria and Iraq, according to the latest figures from general intelligence and security agency AIVD. That is much higher than the around 80 Dutch kids reported to be in the terrorist conflict area last year.
"We are busy collecting information every day. Our image is become increasingly complete and it is the completing of that image that leads to the number of 175", AIVD director Rob Bertholee said to broadcaster BNR.
Very few Dutch jihadists who went to join terrorist organizations in Syria or Iraq, returned to the Netherlands after the fall of the Islamic State caliphate, according to research from the Egmont Institute, an independent think tank in Brussels, ANP reports
The question of whether or not to bring the children of Dutch rebel fighters in the Syrian civil war back to the Netherlands, has the government parties divided. Doing so was proposed by the D66 and ChristenUnie, but the VVD is vehemently against it. What fourth government party, the CDA, thinks about this, is not yet clear, NOS reports.
"Before you know it, the parents will come too", VVD parliamentarian Barbara Visser said on Twitter. "The VVD chooses for the safety and freedom of the children in the Netherlands!"
A Syrian man who fought for terrorist organization ISIS is living in the Netherlands with false papers, the Volkskrant reports. He was at a meeting in De Balie in Amsterdam in September, where activists of civilian collective Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently recognized him.
A third of all European foreign rebel fighters in the Syrian Civil War have now returned to their country of birth, according to American think tank Soufan Center. Around 50 jihadists returned to the Netherlands, RTL Nieuws reports.
According to Soufan Center, the returning fighters pose a great danger to the society return to. They don't have a great chance of leading a normal life and stay sensitive to calls from former combatants.
PVV leader Geert Wilders wants to stop the appointment of Ferdinand Grapperhaus (CDA) as Minister of Justice of Security. According to Wilders, posts on Grapperhaus' personal blog show that he is "more a danger to national security than a minister of Justice", he said to ANP.
Wilders is referring to a blog post in which Grapperhaus wrote that "you should not revoke jihadists' citizenship. On the contrary, you must let them come back." He goes on to say that jihadists must return to the Netherlands so that they can be held accountable, according to the Telegraaf.
Minister Stef Blok of Security and Justice revoked the Dutch nationality of four jihadists. According to him, the four jihadists joined a terrorist organization abroad, NOS reports.
The four jihadists were also declared unwelcome foreigners, which means they can no longer legally return to the Netherlands or to other Schengen countries, according to the broadcaster. They jihadists lost their Dutch citizenship with immediate effect, though a court will review the decision at a later date.
A believed to be de-radicalized man spread propaganda for the jihad while working with young people in Amsterdam's radicalization and polarization department, the Telegraaf reports based on sources.
Minister Stef Blok of Security and Justice is revoking the Dutch citizenship of a convicted jihadist for the first time. This possibility already existed in Dutch law, but this is the first time it is being used, NOS reports.
Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs added another nine Dutch to the national terrorism list, bringing the total number of names on the list up to 121. Their assets were frozen and they can no longer access their Dutch bank accounts or credit cards, RTL Nieuws reports.
Suspected jihadist Victor D. from Heeten, Overijssel, wants to return to the Netherlands to be present at his trial, he said in a letter to the court. "In this writing I'm not trying to prove my innocence. I want to tell you what moves me, what touches me and what makes me convinced that I am working for a noble, honest affair", he wrote, according to newspaper AD.
Suspected Dutch jihadist Marouane B. traveled to Syria in 2014 in order to "help children, women and men who are being terrorized by the tyrant Assad", he wrote in an open letter in the hands of RTL Nieuws. "With my whole mind I chose to become a soldier in Syria", he wrote, adding that he joined as a soldier in a 'fighting party'.
Wail el A., the convicted jihadist from Arnhem arrested for taking pictures at the Volkel military air base last week, was only taking selfies with the fighter jets, his lawyer Francoise Landerloo said to AD. He had no idea that he was doing anything wrong. Others from his work team also took pictures, the lawyer said.
An Iraqi militia captured the husband of suspected Dutch ISIS supporter Laura H. in Mosul, according to newspaper Trouw. The capture was filmed and members of Ibrahim I.'s family identified him on the footage, the newspaper reported on Friday.
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.
The Netherlands' debate on jihadists is characterized by a simple, sometimes sensational misrepresentation, according to terrorism experts Edwin Bakker and Peter Grol in their new book Nederlandse jihadisten, van naive idealisten tot geharde terroristen. Jihadists can't all be recognized in time, and therefore can't always be stopped. And if you managed to stop them, it is unreasonable to expect that they will suddenly turn into a "model citizen who embraces democracy", they write in the book, AD reports.
The Public Prosecutor issued an official and public summons to 10 Dutch men believed to be fighting for terrorist organization ISIS in Syria and Iraq. These men are summoned to attend a pretrial hearing in the court of Rotterdam on March 23rd, the Prosecutor said in a statement on the police website.