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Number of jihad fighters in the Netherlands 2012-2017, by gender

Number of jihad fighters in the Netherlands from 2012 to 2017, by gender*

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Release date

July 2017



Survey time period

2012 to 2017

Supplementary notes

* The source implicates people who travel to Syria to assist in the jihad (in Dutch: "Syriëgangers") and specifically states that the exact motivation is hard to trace. One of the reasons to go there, so the source says, "could be the attraction of the warzone (romanticism of the jihad heroics, helping brothers and sisters in need)." The source also mentions that "the jihad ideology in most cases does not allow women to fight at the front."

The HCSS database for jihad fighters is based on a number of different sources: freely accessible material (regular and social media), legal material, government sources as well as interviews with researchers and people directly involved, such as family members, friends, teachers and former jihad fighters. According to the Nationaal Coördinator Terrorismebestrijding en Veiligheid (NCTV) until June 2017 approximately 280 Dutch nationals left for Syria or Iraq, of whom roughly 50 have returned since.

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