The warning comes from the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), an intelligence agency dealing with domestic non-military threats to the Netherlands. AIVD gave public an update on the presence of Dutch nationals in the ranks of the terrorist group Islamic State (IS).
AVID estimates that there are some 80 children of Dutch nationals currently living in IS-held lands. The agency also warned that “jihadist travelers” returning to the Netherlands now may be a bigger threat than those who had returned earlier due to greater experience.
“Children as well as adults may have participated in the fighting or in other acts of violence,” the AIVD report said. “It is possible that these experiences lower the threshold for the use of violence and can result in trauma.”
Not only IS fighters, but also their children should be considered as potential threats and monitored as “jihadist travellers,” AIVD director Rob Bertholee said to the national broadcaster Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS).
“Boys can attend training camps from the age of nine,” he said, adding that children of that age “or even younger” had likely been involved in attacks and executions. “Children in the IS area have lost their innocence due to all the violence.”