New powers for dealing with terrorism

New powers for dealing with terrorism

On 1 March 2017, three laws entered into force within the framework of the plan of action ‘An Integrated Approach to Jihadism’. The new laws expand the government’s powers to combat terrorism. For example, it is now possible to impose certain administrative measures (e.g. a banning order, restraining order or requirement to periodically report to the authorities) on individuals who engage in conduct connected with terrorist activities or who provide support for such activities. The law also empowers the authorities to issue a travel ban.

Plan of action: ‘An Integrated Approach to Jihadism’

Jihadism poses a significant threat to our national security and democracy. With the help of its plan of action ‘An Integrated Approach to Jihadism’, the government is pursuing a vigorous, broad-based approach to confronting the threat of terrorism and preventing attacks. The plan of action consists of two categories of measures: those aimed at combating and weakening the jihadist movement in Netherlands and those aimed at preventing radicalisation. The three laws that entered into force on 1 March 2017 are part of these efforts.

Counterterrorism (Interim Administrative Measures) Act

This law provides for a number of administrative measures (e.g. a banning order, restraining order or requirement to periodically report to the authorities) that the government can impose on the basis of conduct that is connected to terrorist activities or support for such activities. The law also empowers the authorities to issue a travel ban if there are good reasons to believe that an individual plans to leave the Schengen area to join a terrorist organisation. Such measures can only be imposed if they are deemed necessary on the grounds of national security.

Passport Act Amendment Act

Under this law, passports and national identity cards will automatically become invalid if the holder is subject to a travel ban by the Minister of Security and Justice. The purpose of this law is to prevent people from travelling to jihadist conflict zones.

Netherlands Nationality Act

On the basis of this law, Dutch nationals who join terrorist organisations abroad can lose their citizenship. On returning to the Netherlands, these individuals can pose a direct threat to national security. Under the law, Dutch nationality cannot be revoked if this would result in the individual in question becoming stateless.