Dutch jihad suspect Laura H. (21) was sentenced to two years in prison by a Rotterdam court on Monday, of which thirteen months may be served out on probation. Since she has already spent one year in remand, she will not have to return to prison. The punishment is lower than what the Public Prosecutor had originally demanded.
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.
There are indications that Dutch technology was used in weapons of mass destruction or missile programs of Iran, Pakistan and Syria, departing Ministers Lilianne Ploumen for Foreign Trade, Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs and Klaas Dijkhoff of Defense wrote to the Tweede Kamer, ANP reports.
A total of 4,400 people applied for asylum in the Netherlands in the third quarter of this year, and 2,300 people joined family members that already have residency in the country, Statistics Netherlands reports. This is the first time since the third quarter of 2016 that the number of new asylum requests is higher than family reunification applications.
Suspected jihadist Laura H. told the Rotterdam court on Thursday that her husband Ibrahim wanted to commit an attack preferably in the Netherlands, or in another European country. She insists that she did not know what she was doing when she left for Syria in 2015, ANP reports.
As the new Dutch government prepares to present its government agreement, more and more of the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie's plans are leaking to the press. On Monday we've learned that the new government plans more changes to the asylum policy and is giving more money to security.
"I want to return to the Netherlands, for the future of my children", a 23-year-old Dutch jihadist in Syria said in an anonymous interview with Belgian broadcaster VRT. The pregnant woman and her young son are currently living in a refugee camp near the Syrian city of Raqqa.
The Netherlands is an interesting "supermarket" for countries that want to make weapons of mass destruction, director Onno Eichelsheim of military intelligence service MIVD said in an interview with ANP. According to him, the Dutch intelligence services annually block a "significant number of attempts" of "countries of concerns" trying to acquire knowledge or materials for such weapons from the Netherlands.
In January the Netherlands will again deploy F-16 fighter jets to fight in the coalition against terrorist organization ISIS in Syria and Iraq, sources confirmed to the Telegraaf. A total of six jets will be sent, four for fighting and two as reserve, and they will be stationed at the Al-Azraq airbase in Jordan, according to the newspaper.
The number of children in the Netherlands growing up in a family that receives welfare benefits increased by 2.1 percent to a total of 230 thousand last year, Statistics Netherlands reported on Friday. This number increased every year since 2012.
More than two thirds of children who lived on welfare last year had an immigration background. Half of this group fall under the "other non-western category", compared to 39 percent in 2012. In this category the stats office includes all non-western countries except Morocco, Suriname, Turkey, Aruba and the former Dutch Antilles.
Suspected jihadist Lieke S. can await her trial in freedom, as long as she keeps to a number of conditions, the court ruled on Thursday. The 34-year-old woman has been in prison since she was arrested while trying to enter Syria last year, AD 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.
The total population of the Netherlands increased by 35 thousand people in the first half of this year, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Monday. Like last year, immigration is still the driving force behind the population growth in the Netherlands.
During the first six months of this year about 100 thousand immigrants settled in the Netherlands, about the same as in the same period in 2016. A total of 69 thousand people emigrated away from the Netherlands. The migration balance is therefore 31 thousand, approximately the same as a year ago.
Dutch animal caretaker Juno van Zon is currently in Karacabey, Turkey to help care for nine lions, tigers, bears and hyenas recently rescued from the destroyed Magic World zoo in Aleppo, Syria. The animals' rescue was planned by international aid organization Four Paws.
Dutch woman Laura H. will be released from custody and can await trail in freedom, as long as she keeps to a number of conditions, the court in Rotterdam ruled on Thursday. She has to wear an ankle monitor, stay away from borders and airports, check in with the rehabilitation service on a regular basis and is not allowed any contact with her husband, NOS reports.
Dutch jihadist Marouane B. made a rap video and sent it to various Dutch news services, including the Telegraaf and Crimesite. According to him, the video was partly filmed in Syria and he is currently in Raqqa.
The title of the song is "Ik kom ooit terug", or "I'll come back someday" in English. In the song he tells his mother not to worry, he'll be back in the Netherlands someday. He also apologizes for the poor quality of the recording and refers to the trial that awaits him when he returns to the Netherlands.
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.
A new database established in the Netherlands contains profiles on 207 suspected Dutch jihadists who traveled to Syria or Iraq to fight in the civil war. The figures show that the Dutch jihadists come from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, three quarters of them are male and they are mostly young - the average age is 23 years, the Volkskrant reports.
A number of Dutch rebel fighters in the Syrian civil war want to return to the Netherlands now that ISIS is suffering huge losses in Raqqa and Mosul, the lawyers representing them said to NOS. But escaping from the conflict zone is difficult, according to the lawyers.
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'.
Police in the Netherlands arrested a 38-year-old Syrian man on allegations of involvement in a terrorist act, the public prosecutor’s office announced on Thursday. The arrest of the unnamed man is the third terrorism-related arrest in the Netherlands in a week, all three of which were in the Limburg province.
A 23-year-old Dutch man calling himself Baran Sason joined the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria to fight against terrorist organization ISIS. He plans to take part in the battle to reclaim Raqqa, the ISIS declared caliphate, he said in interviews with Kurdish news sites. "I fight to recapture this country", he said.
NATO is joining the coalition fighting against terrorist organization ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the 28 NATO member states decided on Wednesday. The Netherlands will contribute two planes to the fight against Islamic State this year, Ministers Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs and Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert announced.