100 names on national terrorism list

Foreign minister Bert Koenders has added 10 Dutch nationals to the Netherlands’ terrorism list, due to their involvement in terrorist activities in Syria and Iraq. Their assets have been frozen and, as a result, they are now unable to withdraw money from their Dutch bank accounts or use their credit cards. There are now 100 names on the list, including 11 women and three organisations.

The national terrorism list is not a list of wanted persons per se. It is a list of individuals and organisations whose assets have been frozen. This prevents terrorist activities from being financed from a Dutch bank account.

Mr Koenders took the decision in consultation with the Minister of Security and Justice and the Minister of Finance, based on information from the Public Prosecution Service and the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD). Financial institutions use the public list to determine which accounts they need to freeze. This measure also affects friends and family of the listed jihadist travellers because it is illegal to provide money to anyone on the list. Those who do so risk a fine or even a prison sentence.

The Netherlands shares its national terrorism list with other European Union member states and urges them to maintain, publish and share their own lists. ‘Publishing and sharing all terrorism lists makes it easier for EU citizens and financial institutions to see whose assets are frozen,’ said Mr Koenders.

The Netherlands is also pressing for better use of the European terrorism list. ‘We urgently need to use the EU sanctions regime more intensively,’ said the minister. ‘It’s essential to prevent a person on the national list from getting access to money in another EU country. Freezing assets at European level will make our efforts more effective.’

The freeze is part of a wider government action plan aimed at tackling jihadism. The Netherlands is also working closely at international level to curb terrorist threats. These efforts include co-chairing the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), in which 29 countries and the EU exchange knowledge on combating terrorism and preventing violent extremism.