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.
The Netherlands will grant asylum to 27 White Helmet rescue workers evacuated from Syria, in the midst of an offensive by the Syrian regime, in July. The White Helmets coming to the Netherlands are five families and three individuals, NRC reports.
The youngest of the suspected terrorists arrested on Thursday, was previously arrested for taking selfies with F-16 fighter jets at the military airbase in Volkel, according to the Telegraaf. At that time 21-year-old Wail el A. was already once convicted for a failed attempt to travel to Syria and join a terrorist organization there, the newspaper writes.
The Netherlands was well aware of human rights violations committed by Syrian rebel movement Jabhat al-Shamiya when the country started offering them logistical support, Nieuwsuur and Trouw report based on emails sent between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and human rights organization Amnesty International in the summer of 2016. Despite this knowledge, the Dutch government decided to send Jabhat al-Shamiya logistical supplies in 2017.
The Dutch government did not ask its External Public Law Adviser for advice about providing support to Syrian opposition groups. According to the adviser in question, professor André Nollkaemper, the support offered to Syrian rebel groups may be "in conflict with the prohibition on non-intervention", Nieuwsuur and Trouw report.
The government will immediately launch an investigation into the NLA program, in which the Netherlands offered "non lethal support" to the moderate armed opposition in Syria, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said. He called it "worrying" that the Public Prosecutor labeled at least one group that received Dutch support as terrorist, AD reports.
Around a fifth of the Syrian asylum seekers who are proposed for asylum in the Netherlands through the so-called Turkey-deal, are rejected because of extremist sympathies or because their ideals are not in line with Dutch values, Paul van Musscher, national portfolio holder for foreign affairs and migration crime at the police, said to the Volkskrant.
The Netherlands is considering giving shelter to a "limited number" of Syrian aid group the White Helmets, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice and Security said to RTL Nieuws. "Important conditions for this are identification, registration and (security) screening."
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.
Russia plans to bring 17 Syrian people, who were seen on footage of a believed poison gas attack in Douma, to the Netherlands. These people seen dying in the footage are alive and well, and in this way Russia wants to "unmask" the "unforgivable lies" over the incident, Alexander Shulgin, Russian ambassador to the OPWC, said to British news sender ITV News.
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.
The Netherlands sees no sense in implementing more sanctions against Russia for its role in the situation in Syria, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said. "The only real solution for the Syrian conflict lies at the negotiating table", the Dutch Minister said, NOS 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.
The prosecution of those responsible for the MH17 disaster is the first subject Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs will discuss with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov during his visit to Moscow on Friday. The Dutch Minister will also ask Russia to contribute to stopping the conflict in Syria, first of all by making a cease fire possible so that humanitarian aid can get to the people in the war-torn country, NOS reports.
Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense understands why the United States is threatening military action in Syria following what is believed to be a poison gas attack in Douma. "If diplomatic, economical and political measures are insufficient, the Netherlands understands a proportional military action in Syria", she said to Nieuwsuur.
A Dutch man Turkey accused of being a spy left Turkey "for his own safety", the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed, RTL Nieuws reports.
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.