The Dutch secret service on Wednesday warned of the potential dangers posed by the return to the Netherlands of Dutch Islamic State fighters and their children.
According to secret service reports, there are around 190 adult Dutch nationals in Islamic State-controlled areas in Syria and Iraq, accompanied by around 80 children.
As Islamic State comes under increasing pressure in Iraq and Syria, more Dutch nationals want to return to the Netherlands, the secret service says.
These include “experienced, well-trained fighters,” who may wish to carry out attacks or recruit new members, the secret service warned.
The head of the secret service, Rob Bertholee, said that even children could have been trained to fight. “Boys can attend training camps from the age of nine,” Bertholee said on Dutch television.
Bertholee added children of that age “or even younger” are thought to have been involved in attacks and executions. “Children in the IS area have lost their innocence due to all the violence,” he said.