Minister will look at ban on travel to Syria, Iraq

Ivo opsteltenJustice minister Ivo Opstelten says he will look carefully at a suggestion that the government bring in a ban on people travelling to Syria and Iraq, the Telegraaf reports.

VVD parliamentarian Klaas Dijkhoff said during a debate in parliament on Wednesday evening that simply travelling to areas which are under the control of militant Islamic group IS should be a criminal offence.

Such a ban would make it easier to prosecute potential jihadis and people who return from fighting for IS and other terrorist groups, the MP said. At the moment, the public prosecution department has to prove a suspect is guilty of crimes such as rape or murder to take legal action against them.


Opstelten told parliament he wants to take tough action but within the bounds of the justice system. A ban on travel for people with ‘terrorist intentions’ would be a good idea but a blanket ban would require a great deal of care, the minister said.

So far, the passports of 52 Dutch nationals have been cancelled because of fears they planned to join Islamic militants.

Suicide bomber

Meanwhile the father of a Maastricht youth rumoured to have carried out a suicide attack outside a police station in Bagdad earlier this month says he has still not been told if his son is dead.

Five people were killed and 10 injured in the blast and the Dutch counter terrorism unit said the suicide attack was almost certainly carried out by a Dutch national.

However, the father of the 19-year-old youth, named as Sultan, told local broadaster L1, two weeks on, no one has confirmed the death to him.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation