Twelve IS women and their 28 children return to the Netherlands | Politics

Twelve Dutch IS women and their 28 children are transferred to the Netherlands. The locker will notify you. The women, who are currently in detention camps, will be arrested upon arrival in the Netherlands and will be prosecuted.

This is the result of a judgment in May by the court in Rotterdam. It ruled that the suspects should be brought to the Netherlands if possible. “After a careful preparation process, in which all relevant facts and circumstances were considered, the Cabinet saw an opportunity for transfer by means of a special operation,” writes Minister Dilan Yesiligöz (Ministry of Justice).

It is the third time that a group of Dutch women and children have been brought to the Netherlands from the camps. The first time was in June 2021, when it involved a woman and three children. In February this year, a group of five women and eleven children followed. The first woman to be rehabilitated, Ilham B. from Gouda, was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison. The trials against the women from the second group are still ongoing. In recent months, the courts have handed down harsher sentences because the women remained in the terrorist group Islamic State (IS) until the end.

The suspects are arrested on arrival in the Netherlands. The accompanying children will be handed over to the Child Welfare Board. Due to the expected return of a large group of women, last year the government created a special part of the prison in Zwolle as a terror ward, specifically for women. There are other terror departments in the prisons in Vught and Rotterdam.

Another group of thieves

After the return of this large group, according to the intelligence service AIVD, more than 20 Dutch adults will remain in detention camps or prisons in northern Syria. The women are in camps, and 32 children also live with them. The men are in prisons. There is currently no question of bringing back the small group of men.

The camps and prisons in northern Syria are run by local Kurdish groups. They indicated years ago that they did not want to try all foreign women and asked European countries and America to bring them back. It is not clear whether and, if so, when the men will be brought to trial. Many of the Europeans have been trapped since the fall of the caliphate in March 2019.

There are also around 25 Dutch jihadists living in northeastern Syria, an area still under the control of jihadist groups.


As a VVD member of parliament, Yesiligöz was always opposed to bringing back Dutch women. “As far as the VVD is concerned, they have lost their right to be Dutch and are not welcome here. Let the Kurds try them as the victims of IS will,” she wrote on Facebook in November 2020.

Nevertheless, government policy is now such that if Dutch IS members can be brought in, this will be done. Provided that the special teams that do this do not need to enter extremely dangerous territory. A majority in the House of Representatives wants this to ‘prevent’ suspects from ‘evading their sentence’.

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