Wednesday 22 March 2023

The Netherlands to bring back 12 jihadi brides and 29 children: RTL


The Netherlands is working on plans to bring back 12 jihadi brides and 29 children from camps in northern Syria, RTL news reported on Wednesday.

Three ministries – justice, foreign affairs and defence – have been working on the plans for several months, sources in The Hague told the broadcaster.

The decision to bring them back stems from a court ruling in May in which judges said that cases involving defendants who could not appear in court would not be handled.

The Netherlands wants to prosecute the women for their role in the terror group IS and the women say they want to appear in court personally, as is their right. Judges gave the government four months to address the problem.

New hearings are planned for early October and, RTL said, the new group are expected to be back by that date, or shortly afterwards.

On their return, the women will be held in a high security prison pending their trial and the children will go into foster care.

The most recent figures from security service AIVD suggest some 35 adults and 60 children with Dutch nationality remain in the Syrian camps.


The Netherlands has been struggling with deciding what to do about its jihadi brides and children, and the government has said it will not actively try to bring Dutch nationals back because it is too dangerous for civil servants to make the trip.

The issue has divided the cabinet and both the VVD and CDA are opposed to bringing back the children, most of whom are under the age of 6. The Dutch children’s ombudsman and Humans Rights Watch have also urged the Netherlands to bring back its nationals from Syria.

In February, the Netherlands brought back five women and 11 children from the Kurdish refugee camp Al Roj in northern Syria. They face a variety of charges, including membership of a terrorist organisation and preparing to carry out acts of terrorism.

Last June, the Netherlands brought back Ilham B from Gouda along with three children, one of whom was a 12-year-old said to have been kidnapped and taken to Syria by her mother.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation. has been free for 16 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.