The Dutch counter terrorism organisation NCTV is setting up an independent support unit for the families of people who have become jihadists and have gone or are considering going to fight with Islamic State militias in Syria and Iraq.
The justice ministry confirmed the move to website nu.nl on Monday following a news article in the Volkskrant. Families of people with jihadist sympathies have a very great need for help, the spokesman said.
The support unit will be set up in close cooperation with other initiatives and will be in action next year, the Volkskrant said.
‘It is important the support unit is truly independent,’ Karima Sahla of The Hague support group Steunpunt Sabr told the paper. ‘The community’s input is crucial.’
Families are currently desperate for help and advice, she said.
On Friday, home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk said at least 160 people are now thought to have gone to Syria and Iraq from the Netherlands. However, their number could be higher, he said. So far, at least 20 have been killed.
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