Repatriated Dutch women to face IS terror charges

Repatriated Dutch women to face IS terror charges
2 min read
04 February, 2022
Five woman jihadist travellers are expected to appear in a Rotterdam court Monday on terror charges after being repatriated from a Syrian refugee camp
Some 300 Dutch jihadists travelled to join fighters of the now defunct "Islamic Caliphate" [Getty- archive]

Five woman jihadist travellers are expected to appear in a Rotterdam court Monday on terror charges after being repatriated from a Syrian refugee camp, prosecutors said Friday.

The five women and 11 children arrived in the Netherlands earlier in the day, Dutch media reports said, after an operation by the Dutch government to extradite them from the Al-Roj refugee camp in north-eastern Syria.

"They will make a first appearance before a Dutch judge facing terror charges," said Brechtje van de Moosdijk, spokeswoman for the public prosecutor's office.

The hearing will be behind closed doors, where the judge will establish their identities and decide whether they will have to remain in custody for at least another two weeks, she said.

The Dutch government on Wednesday announced the move to extradite the women from the camp, but did not give details of the "special operation".

"The suspects will be arrested in the Netherlands with the eye on possible prosecutions," Dutch Justice Minister Dilan Yesilgoz-Zegerius said in a letter to parliament.

"Their children will be handed over to child protection authorities," she added in the letter, co-authored by Foreign Affairs Minister Wopke Hoekstra.

The move came after a Rotterdam court last year warned that it may have to drop charges against the women if they were no brought back within a matter of months.

"The Dutch government aimed with the transfer to prevent the suspects' impunity from prosecution," the ministers said.

Some 300 Dutch jihadists travelled to join fighters of the now defunct "Islamic Caliphate" during the height of the Syrian civil war, according to Dutch government figures.

About 120 still remained, many in camps and detention centres in northern Syria, Iraq and Turkey.

The Netherlands has vowed to repatriate jihadist travellers for prosecution and spoke to like-minded European partners in December "to broaden the effort", Yesilgoz-Zegerius said.

"This dialogue is continuing," she added.