Sunday 23 January 2022

Terror threat remains ‘substantial’, Syria returnees are cause for concern

The terrorist threat in the Netherlands remains ‘substantial’, the Dutch counter terrorism body NCTV says on Monday, in its latest security report.

The threat level remains high because of continuing concerns about the likely action of people returning from fighting on behalf of rebel forces in Syria, the NCTV says.

Around 100 Dutch nationals have so far gone to Syria, of whom about 70 remain in the country, the NCTV says. Some 20 have since returned to the Netherlands and 10 have been killed.

Monitoring

Dutch policy remains one of discouraging people from heading to Syria and closely monitoring those who return.

So far, 11 people have had their passports cancelled or refused and others are pending, the NCTV says. Several minors have been placed in custody or under social work supervision because of fears they were planning to head for Syria.

In four cases, people have lost their social security benefits and other cases are also pending. All people known to be in Syria have lost their entitlement to benefits.

In October, two people were taken to court for recruiting youngsters to fight in Syria. One has been jailed for attempted murder and the other sent to psychiatric prison for planning arson attacks and spreading jihadist texts.

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