A weak and seriously neglected lion offered for sale at a market in Baghdad, Iraq early this year, is getting a second chance in the Netherlands. Thanks to the intervention of two Dutch persons, and after months of negotiations, lion Simba is heading to the lion sanctuary in Anna Paulowna, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Netherlands will not send ground troops to Syria, Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld said on Friday. "There is no mandate for it, and Mr. Hoekstra knows that too." The Dutch government did not inform the United States embassy or government about this, US Ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra said to Nieuwsuur. "She didn't let me know personally", Hoekstra said to the program.
There is a very real concern in the Netherlands regarding potential terror attacks, particularly from ISIS recruits and jihadists, right-wing extremists, and radical activists, according to Dutch counter-terror office NCTV. Because of this, the terror threat level in the country remains high, with holding at 4 out of a maximum of 5 in the terrorism threat assessment published by the NCTV on Monday.
The Netherlands must "show grace and mercy" and bring back the children of Dutch jihadists in Iraq and Syria as quickly as possible, the special UN envoy for Children in Armed Conflicts, Virginia Gamba, said during a visit to The Hague on Thursday. The fact that these kids and their mothers are now just left to their fates is not only inhumane, but also contrary to international children's rights, she said, Het Parool reports.
The Dutch military training mission in Iraq was suspended due to an increased threat in the region. The nature of the threat is unknown. The commander of the international coalition that coordinates training in the region ordered the mission to stop, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense said to NU.nl.
This temporary halt applies to all international allies who provide training in the area. Some 50 to 60 Dutch soldiers were ordered to cease their work "until further notice" due to an increased threat.
The man convicted of murdering 96-year-old 'oma Toni' in Amsterdam's De Pijp in 2015, is now fighting his deportation to his home country of Iraq. After his conviction, the Dutch immigration and naturalization service IND revoked his residency permit, NOS reports.
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. These include Insiya's father Shehzad Hemani in India, a suspect who is in custody in the United States and one in custody in Iraq, the Telegraaf reports.