Family of foreign fighters
An exploratory study on the role of family members of those who joined jihadist groups (full text only available in Dutch)
- Weggemans, D., Zwan, M. van der, Liem, M.
- University Leiden - Faculteit Governance and Global Affairs, WODC
- Place of publication:
- University Leiden - Faculteit Governance and Global Affairs
- Year of publication:
In 2012, intelligence and security services issued warnings about Dutch nationals who were leaving the Netherlands to join jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq. In the following years, the number of Dutch foreign fighters increased significantly; from a few in 2012 to approximately 300 in 2018. Recently, a considerable number of (academic) articles has been published on the motives and living conditions of foreign fighters. To date, however, far less research has been conducted into the social environment of these jihadist travelers and, in particular, their families. In this study, consideration is given to the following question: what role and significance do relatives play in the process of a foreign fighter preparing for, traveling to and returning from a foreign conflict where jihadist groups have been active? In addition, in this report, we reflected on the opportunities family members have to intervene and mitigate the risks associated with the process of traveling to and returning from a foreign conflict zone, and the way in which the government can support family members in this context.
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