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Netherlands: Asylum seekers with "terrorist background" often arrested due to outside information

The Dutch "RTL" website stated that after the arrest of a Syrian asylum seeker suspected of holding an administrative position in the security apparatus of the Islamic State group, that the arrest, as in similar previous cases, "is often based on information from abroad," according to what the website quoted a criminologist.

  "If an asylum-seeker comes to the Netherlands, like this man," Martin Polhis of the Free University of Amsterdam, an expert on F1 refugees, told RTL Nieuws. In 2019, in most cases you don't know anything about it, you often totally depend on what this person says themselves.

And it becomes difficult if he deliberately keeps his life and shuts his mouth about certain things and has a good story about who he is and what he's been up to over the years."

  According to Polhis, the Immigration and Naturalization Service always tries to obtain a photo of anyone applying for asylum in the Netherlands.

  “Can the person be found on social media? What can be seen in any pictures online or in the asylum seeker’s phone? But if the person can make sure that they are untraceable, and they don’t talk and explain too much, it becomes difficult,” says Polhis. ".

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  Asylum attorney Will Eckelbaum says: "If it is or becomes apparent that someone in the country of origin was in the military or with an armed group, a more comprehensive 1F procedure will be initiated after the first examination."

  But the burden of proof for the INS is low, says Eckelbaum: "Just because serious crimes are suspected is enough to deny asylum."

"It is impossible to check the background of every asylum seeker, as a result, it is possible that people will be included in the asylum procedure who have something to report," he adds.

According to the site, it is not known when the pursuit of justice began for the man - who has been living in "Arkil" since 2020. The "Public Prosecution" suspects that the now-detained Syrian was the "chief of security" in the "state" between 2015 and 2018, before that he was in the "front" victory.”

It is said that he held both positions in the "Yarmouk" refugee camp, south of the Syrian capital, Damascus, and in any case, the form of his duties is still unclear.

The site indicated that a number of asylum seekers were tried in the same way, and quotes "Polhes": "(Ahmed K) came to the Netherlands in 2013, and was living in Zeeland when he was arrested in 2019.

He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2021 for his role in the execution of a Syrian soldier. "It was in a videotape found on the Internet that he was one of the men who shot the soldier," Belhis adds. Another Syrian asylum seeker was also convicted of war crimes.

It also happened in 2021. "He was sentenced to six years in prison, when a videotape was found of him kicking dead bodies."

The news site concluded by saying that despite the difficulty of gathering information, it is not impossible to reach a conviction. Suspicion usually begins with information that comes from abroad, says the criminologist. “Often the intelligence agencies, the police or the judiciary knock on the door from the outside. For example, someone is being investigated and they reveal information about another person residing in the country.”

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