De-radicalisation courses a waste of time for jihadis, says minister

Silhouette of soldierThere is no point in forcing radicalised Muslims and people who have spent time fighting with militants in Syria to go through a programme aimed at changing their minds, justice minister Ard van de Steur has told MPs.

Research shows that such programmes are only effective if the individuals involved are open to change, Van de Steur said. The minister was answering questions from Socialist and GroenLinks MPs who wanted to know if courses could be made compulsory.

Van de Steur also said he is not in favour of locking up potential jihadis. This would require putting people who may pose a danger to society in jail before they had done anything, and this goes against the Dutch constitution, he said.

However, the minister said he is prepared to look at using electronic tagging to keep tabs on potential terrorists.

The minister on Tuesday introduced draft legislation which would require people labelled as radicalised to report daily to the police. The new law, if passed by parliament, would also introduce banning orders to keep potential terrorists out of some areas.

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