Awareness Trainings and Detecting Jihadists among Asylum Seekers: A Case Study from The Netherlands

Joris van Wijk, Maarten P. Bolhuis


Dutch frontline professionals who work with asylum seekers receive awareness training to assist them in identifying possible signs of jihadist convictions. During these training sessions, they are provided with a complex, ambiguous, and multi-interpretable advice on how to detect such convictions. Based on interviews with respondents working in the immigration process and with the Dutch intelligence services (AIVD and MIVD), this article discusses how these trainings are translated into practice and to what extent the alerts shared by frontline professionals are relevant in the actual identification of jihadism. It concludes that it is as of yet unknown whether such trainings are useful, effective, and/or efficient. They might even have negative consequences such as over-reporting and stigmatization. It is therefore imperative to perform empirical and evidence-based studies that evaluate the effects of available training and tools.

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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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