The Crime Terror Nexus was delighted to launch its paper on the Crime Terror Nexus in the Netherlands at The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague. This paper presents an overview of links between crime and terrorism (the crime-terror nexus) in the Netherlands, highlights potential risks, and makes a series of recommendations for how such risks can be mitigated.
Though illicit activities are notoriously difficult to measure, the presence – or notable absence – of links between crime and terrorism can be seen in two areas: 1. In criminal milieus, where jihadists with criminal pasts have leveraged criminal skills and connections for the purposes of terrorism, and actively encouraged crime for the sake of jihad; 2. In prisons, where Dutch authorities seem to have been more effective than other European governments in preventing the radicalisation of inmates. Our recommendations include action on prisons, terrorist financing, information sharing, and collaboration between security agencies as well as between government and non-government actors. Given that crime and radicalisation have occurred in some of the same geographical areas and demographic pools from which “ordinary” delinquency has emerged, we believe that there needs to be an honest assessment about the extent to which state and civil society can address the conditions in which extremist narratives resonate.
This paper is part of a Europe-wide survey that will produce similar reports for all European Union member states. The aim is to generate a more holistic understanding of threats from crime and terrorism, and promote new and innovative ways of tackling them.