Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb says he has more authority to make bold statements compelling extremist Muslims to get out of the country than do his European colleagues. The Moroccan-born Dutch Mayor said this in an interview with CNN, after speaking in Washington, D.C., about the role of local governments in battling radicalization and extremism.
In the almost month and a half since the Alliance of Moroccan Dutch's (SNM) telephone helpline for radicalization has been launched, the organization has handled 30 cases, the Alliance announced on its website today.
Prisons in the Netherlands are not capable of recognizing radicalization in prisoners, let alone stop it, according to Harry Versteeg, president of the Association of Prison Directors.
Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb is heading to the United States to participate in a 4 day conference on tackling radicalization and violent extremism, De Telegraaf reports. The conference starts on Tuesday and will happen in the White House.
Utrecht has been monitoring 19 alleged jihadists, Mayor Jan van Zanen wrote in a letter to the city council. According to information released by news portal DUIC on Wednesday, six are radicalized Utrecht residents who have gone abroad, nine have returned from abroad, two have been held from leaving the city and another couple have since died.
Mayors are struggling with approaching radicals in their municipalities. Bernt Schneider, President of the Dutch Association of Mayors, says that there are no ready-made plans of action and that municipalities are now trying to make "the best" of it, NOS reports.
The Belgian police shot two armed jihadists dead and arrested one in a Belgian city of Verviers late Thursday night. The armed men were part of a network which partly consists of returned rebel fighters from the Syrian Civil War. They were planning on attacking police stations and courthouses, according to Belgian police.
Radicalization should be addressed in schools, State Secretary of Education Sander Dekker told Parliament Thursday. He made the declaration in his biennial safety monitoring report to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament.
Rotterdam plans to do more in the fight against radicalization.
A 19-year-old woman who made headlines earlier this month after her mother rescued her from ISIS in Syria has been released from custody by a Dutch court. Aïcha, the 19-year-old Jihadi bride was ordered released Tuesday afternoons, but the conditions of her release were not made public.
The Public Prosecutor has appointed seven additional prosecutors to handle jihad suspects.
Rotterdam's Mayor Aboutaleb is asking Dutch people planning to travel abroad to fight for IS to remember that if they choose IS and jihad, then they leave behind The Netherlands. Aboutaleb says if they choose their side consciously, then they should hand in their passports with him. "If you reject the Dutch constitution by wanting to fight with IS, then you also reject the Dutch passport", he tells the NOS.
The Cabinet's new policy to enforce stricter measures against the threat of jihadism amongst Dutch nationals is not supported by some Muslim organizations, who argue that the Cabinet is going to target all Muslims rather than a select group, the Algemeen Dagblad reports.
Minister for Security and Justice Ivo Opstelten has called for the withdrawal of Dutch citizenship of anyone who joins an armed terrorist group. His proposal is one of several measures Prime Minister Mark Rutte's cabinet plans to undertake in an effort to tackle radicalization and Jihadism in the Netherlands.
Key figures in Dutch muslim communities will be encouraged by the Cabinet to do more to prevent radicalization among youths. In a renewed effort by the Cabinet to tackle extremism, Imams breeding hate will also be reprimanded more harshly.
Police in The Hague are launching a special team to focus solely on jihadists. In this way, Minister Ivo Opstelten of Security and Justice hopes to put a stop to Dutch sympathizers of IS and other radical groups, De Telegraaf reports.
Bullying has increased at schools in The Netherlands. Last year, there were almost 20 percent more reports of violence and abuse at schools than the year before.
In The Netherlands, 5000 professionals, including teachers and agents, have been trained to spot signs of radicalization. Amsterdam, The Hague, and Almere have been classified as 'jihad cities', where jihadists are being closely followed.