Jihadism and the Immigration process (WODC)

This publication investigates the identification of suspected jihadists among asylum seekers and of jihadist activities in and around reception centers for asylum seekers.


  • The research questions focused on: What is the current set up regarding identification and exchange of information regarding jihadism in the Dutch immigration process, how does this work in practice and are there any possible improvements to be made? If so, which?
  • Different research methods were used inter alia: (i) analysis of public sources such as media reports and policy documents and a query through the European Migration Network (EMN), (ii) analysis of policy documents and interviews of policy officers, (iii) review of literature and (iv) interviews with executive staff and frontline professionals.
  • The data collection for this study took place during the period February to July 11, 2016.

Some findings:

  • The expectations of the outside world (the general public and politics) regarding the contribution of stakeholders in the immigration process for identifying jihadism are (too) high
  • The increased number of asylum applicants since late 2014 resulted in capacity problems, impacting on the reporting;
  • An uneasy relationship exists with respect to, on the one hand, making professionals aware of the risk of jihadism and equipping them to recognise signals relating to jihadism as much as possible and, on the other hand, avoiding tunnel vision and/or overreporting.
  • The relative advantages and disadvantages (privacy breaches, stigmatisation...) of lists and other tools used in this context should be subject to regular monitoring and evaluation.

More information:

The full publication (in Dutch) and summary in English are attached below and also available on the website of the WODC.

Publication Date:
Thu 29 Sep 2016
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