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Daily Dutch News in English

Dutch government strengthens actions to combat jihadism and radicalisation

There is no place in the Netherlands for hate speech or for extremism. The jihadist movement goes against everything that our democracy represents. These are some of the key points made by Minster of Social Affairs and Employment Lodewijk Asscher and Minister of Security and Justice Ivo Opstelten in a letter to the Dutch Parliament presenting ‘The Netherlands comprehensive action programme to combat jihadism’. This action programme aims to protect democracy and the rule of law, counter and weaken the jihadist movement in the Netherlands and to diminish the breeding ground for radicalisation.

Global jihadism poses a substantial threat to the Dutch national security and to the international legal order. This threat requires strong and comprehensive action. The government is therefore adopting a number of additional measures which build on current counterterrorism policy. The programme includes both preventative and repressive measures. Implementing these new measures requires close cooperation between all partners; at the local, national and international level, and between government and civil society partners.

There will soon be more possibilities for revoking one’s Dutch nationality. Next autumn, the Netherlands Nationality Act will be amended with the aim of revoking the Dutch nationality of jihadists who have joined a terrorist group who have not been previously convicted of terrorist offenses. A central precondition is that this measure may not lead to statelessness.

Soon, it will also be possible to revoke an individual’s Dutch citizenship if he or she has been convicted for participating in a terrorist training camp or contributing, as an instructor, to transmitting skills and knowledge to jihadist fighters. Early next week, a bill providing for such measures will be presented to Dutch Parliament.

In addition, a planned temporary Administrative Powers Act is intended to limit the risks for national security posed by returning terrorist fighters. The temporary measures being considered include a requirement to periodically report to the authorities, the relocation of problematic individuals, and the use of restraining orders in order to avoid further radicalisation of returnees, the further spread of radical ideas and further recruitment activities.