THE HAGUE, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Dutch Minister of Security and Justice Stef Blok revoked the Dutch nationality of four men on Wednesday who had been convicted of terrorist offences in Syria, warning that similar measures would be taken against more jihadists.
It is the first time that the Dutch government has taken this administrative measure after a new law was adopted by the Senate (De Eerste Kamer) last February. The law makes it possible to revoke the Dutch nationality of jihadists with dual nationalities who joined a terrorist organization abroad, as they may constitute a direct threat to national security should they return to the Netherlands.
The four men were all sentenced to jail terms in absentia and three are thought to still be in Syria. One is thought to have died years ago. Besides Dutch nationality, they also have Moroccan nationality. Declared as persona non grata, they can no longer legally enter the Netherlands or other Schengen countries.
They went so far against "what we are in the Netherlands" that they are no longer worthy of possessing Dutch citizenship, Blok told Dutch media.
The jihadist movement in the Netherlands consists of a few hundred members and thousands of sympathizers, according to the Dutch National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV). As of June 2017, a total of some 280 people had left the Netherlands with jihadist intentions. Of them, approximately 190 are still in Syria and Iraq, 45 have died and around 50 have returned.
Earlier in August, nine Dutch citizens were added to the country's national terrorism list, bringing the total number to 124, including three organizations and 121 individuals.