Of the approximately three hundred Dutch people who have traveled to Syria and Iraq since 2012 with jihadist intentions, about a hundred are still in that region. Most of these are adults who joined the terrorist group Islamic State. A small number of them joined jihadist groups in northwestern Syria. This is evident from the latest figures from the AIVD.
Of the travelers still in the region, about a third are in Syrian-Kurdish camps such as al-Roj or in detention centers in northeastern Syria. The men are being held in such centers and their relatives are in the camps.
In addition, there are about 150 children with a “Dutch link” in the region, the service reports. This means that they have at least one parent with Dutch nationality or parents who have lived in the Netherlands for a longer period of time. Some of those children are in a refugee camp with their mother.
Hundreds of travelers have died
Since 2012, about a hundred travelers have died in the region. In addition, about ninety returned to the Netherlands. The AIVD has established that most of them returned in the period 2013 to 2014, after the jihadist struggle in Syria and Iraq. It lasted from 2008 to 2012.
Finally, in recent years, about fifteen adults and fifty children have returned to another home country, usually the country of a second nationality.
The AIVD says it still keeps track of figures from travelers because part of the jihadist threat to the Netherlands comes from this group. When they return, they can pose a security risk, the intelligence service says.
Last winter, the National Coordinator for Terrorism and Security (NCTV) noted that the jihadist movement in the Netherlands is stabilizing. But that movement still poses the greatest terrorist threat.
- Jihadism still the biggest terrorist threat in the Netherlands