Wednesday marks the final day of the Dutch F-16 fighter jet missions targeting IS. The Netherlands announced the decision on Monday, saying the six F-16s and two spare units need to be "available for various rapidly deployable units and NATO."
The Netherlands has approximately 500 jihadists and several thousand sympathizers of jihadist ideology, general intelligence service AIVD said in a report published on Monday. "They pose a potential threat. The threshold for committing an attack in the name of Islamic State or Al Qaeda seems to have decreased", the AIVD said, NU.nl reports.
Iraq's new government has a Dutch touch. The new Minister of Finance, Faud Hussein, lived in the Netherlands for years. He fled Iraq in the 1970s, studied at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, married a Dutch woman, and worked for other refugees. He speaks fluent Dutch, NOS reports.
Early this month Hussein, member of the Kurdish democratic party PUK, also made a run for the presidency. But Barham Salih of the same party received the most votes in parliament.
At least six Dutch women who went to join Islamic State in Syria and Iraq asked the Dutch courts to have them arrested. They are currently in Kurdish camps with 11 Dutch children, and hope to be able to return to the Netherlands in this way, AD reports.
Two brothers from Utrecht and a woman from Alphen aan den Rijn were arrested on for financing terrorism. They sent money to three men suspected of joining terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq. The three jihadists are the brothers of the two Utrecht men, and the woman used to date one of them, NOS reports.
A 22-year-old Dutch woman is in prison in the Kurdish part of Iraq along with her 5-month old baby and her father. The Kurdish authorities suspect the woman of terrorism, the family's lawyer Taner Sen confirmed to RTL Nieuws after reports by NOS.
According to the lawyer, the woman and her father will appear before a judge on Wednesday.
A Dutch person in custody in Iraq is serving an 8 years long prison sentence for terrorism. When exactly this person was sentenced is not known, ANP reports.
On Wednesday the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that one Dutch person is in custody in Iraq, but revealed no further details about it. He is receiving consular assistance for the Dutch consulate in the Iraqi-Kurdish city of Arbil, according to the Ministry.
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.
The Dutch government is looking into whether children of Dutch jihadists can be removed from camps in Syria, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security said on television program Pauw. "The children have to leave. They should not be in a camp there", he said, according to RTL Nieuws.
The Minister is working with the National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism and Security to investigate how the children can be brought out of the camps in a safe manner. "It is an extremely difficult matter", Grapperhaus said. "I find it terribly wrong that children are in these areas."
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.
Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer is calling on the government to bring Dutch kids stuck in camps in Syria back to the Netherlands. "Doing nothing is unacceptable and in violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child", she said on Thursday. "The Netherlands must to everything in its power to bring these children back." ANP reports.
No Dutch soldiers will be prosecuted for bombings by the anti-ISIS coalition in Iraq and East Syria in which civilians were killed, the Public Prosecutor decided. The Dutch soldiers did not break the law of war, the the Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs wrote in a letter to parliament, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Public Prosecutor investigated four incidents. In none of these incidents did the Dutch soldiers break the law of war, the Ministers wrote.
Some 30 Dutch jihadists who went to join terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq are "on their way back to the Netherlands", according to Rob Bertholee, director of general intelligence and security service AIVD, AD reports.
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.
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 man and a woman were recently arrested at Schiphol airport separately from each other after returning from conflict areas in Syria and Iraq, the Public Prosecutor announced in a statement. Both are suspected of participating in a terrorist organization.
Six Dutch F-16 fighter jets, supported by a team of 150 people, were deployed this week to the Middle East as part of the international fight against terrorist organization ISIS. The jets departed from the Volkel Air Base on Wednesday morning, and will be stationed at an air base in Jordan.
Lawyer Nancy Dekens accused the investigating judge of passivity in the case surrounding kidnapped Amsterdam toddler Insiya Hemani. According to the lawyer, up until now the judge has put in very little effort to question three of the suspects in the kidnapping who are abroad.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Two Iraqis hit in air strikes while fleeing from Mosul on January 26th, 2015, want to know whether Dutch F-16s were involved. Lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld asked for clarification from Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert in a letter sent to NRC on Thursday.