Extra staff for jihad surveillance; Arnhem tracking 22 suspected jihadists

The public prosecution department will have five extra ‘jihad officials’ and the ‘jihad team’ of the national police force is to be reinforced, justice minister Ivo Opstelten told parliament on Tuesday.

The five officials, who will be paid for out of the current ministerial budget, will each have a secretary and an ‘administrative supporter’, Opstelten wrote in his briefing.


The public prosecution department will work ‘intensively’ to build up information so that suspects can be effectively detected and prosecuted, the minister said.




Opstelten was forced into a written briefing following criticism of his ‘shambolic’ performance in a debate on the government’s plans to tackle jihadist support.


On the subject of stripping Dutch nationality from jihadists without the intervention of a judge, Opstelten said this could be done if the jihadist is already abroad.


‘In this case, with an eye on national security, it could be necessary to strip away Dutch nationality and declare the person an undesirable alien. They could no longer re-enter the Netherlands,’ Opstelten said.




Also on Tuesday, Arnhem mayor Herman Kaiser told the city council 22 possible Islamic State sympathisers are under surveillance in the city and surrounding areas.


Four of them have already travelled to Iraq or Syria and returned. A further four are currently in Iraq. They are between 14 and 40 years old, Kaiser said.


The region around Arnhem is said to be one of three areas in the Netherlands where militant Muslims are concentrated.



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