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'. "But I did not chose for a trial in which I am called a terrorist by the Public Prosecutor and media in the Netherlands."
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.
A 19-year-old man convicted of joining a terrorist organization to fight on behalf of ISIS was arrested after taking photos and videos inside a Dutch air base. His criminal record was uncovered after an officer from the Marechaussee stopped him on the Volkel air base last Wednesday, as recording images there is forbidden.
The man was released the following Friday, prosecutors confirmed to RTL Nieuws. There was no evidence that he had committed a crime, or that he was planning to do so, prosecutors told the news outlet.
The Dutch government "understands" the United States' cruise missile attack on a Syrian air base in retaliation to a poison gas attack in Syria earlier this week, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher and Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders all said before the cabinet meeting on Friday, NU.nl reports.
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 is contributing an extra 2 million euros for clearing land mines in areas in Syria that have been recaptured from terrorist organization Islamic State, Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs announced in London on Tuesday. Every year the Netherlands contributes about 20 million euros for demining in a number of war-torn countries, including Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Somalia and South-Sudan.
Two weeks ago the Dutch Public Prosecutor issued a summons for 10 suspected Dutch jihadists to appear in court today. As the suspects are believed to be in Syria or Iraq, the summons could not be personally delivered. So the Prosecutor found other ways to try and reach the suspects, including social media. Two of the suspects actually responded to the Prosecutor's Facebook post, according to AD journalist Cyril Rosman tweeting from within the courtroom.
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.
Tarek Karboutli, former goalkeeper of the national team of Syria, fled war in his country and applied for asylum in the Netherlands. Football team AFC immediately invited him to train with them, AT5 reports.
Karboutli is very happy with the invitation. "I hoped to get a chance with AFC. Now or in the future. But I'm very happy with the opportunity and I'm going to grab it with both hands", he said to the broadcaster. "And then you come to a club, where coaches and players are glad you're there. Everyone talks well of you, also to the people around them. I am very happy."
Another 10 Dutch names were added to the Netherlands' national terrorism list. The list now contains 100 names - 86 men, 11 women and three organizations, RTL Nieuws reports.
Most of the names on the list involve people believed to be involved in terrorist activities in Syria and Iraq.
The bank accounts and assets of everyone on the list have been frozen, which means they can no longer access the money in their accounts. This measure is intended to make it more difficult for terrorist activities to be funded from the Netherlands.
The Dutch Public Prosecutor wants to prosecute jihadists before their return to the Netherlands, while they are still in Syria and Iraq, national coordinating prosecutor Ferry van Veghel said in Nieuwsuur. "Given the high risk of people who come back from this area, we do not want to wait until they come back before opening criminal investigations. We want it all to start now and continue in their absence", he said.
The National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security Dick Schoof is very concerned about at least 80 children of Dutch jihadists that are growing up in ISIS territory, he said to the Telegraaf on Wednesday. According to him, these kids are at risk of being severely traumatized. And Dutch security forces are seriously concerned that young boys are already a threat to the Netherlands.
Hani Al Rawi, a Syrian refugee now living in the Netherlands, spent about six months in the notorious Saydnaya prison in the Syrian capital Damascus. "I hung six hours per day with my wrists tied together", he said to broadcaster NOS about the experience.