Dutch intelligence chief explains why kids are on terror watch list

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BERLIN — More than a dozen children are on the terror watch list in the Netherlands, an official said Monday.

Rob Bertholee, the head of Dutch intelligence, told a conference that around 250 people have left his country to wage jihad overseas in Iraq and Syria — including at least 60 women and many children.

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Dutch authorities have identified a total of 17 minors that are receiving or have received combat training, Bertholee added.

He said children as young as 9 years old have been recruited for combat training.

He declined to comment on whether any of the child fighters have returned to Europe, saying only that his country's decision to include minors on terror watch lists is because "we cannot rule out any scenarios."

European officials have repeatedly expressed concern about the threat of foreign fighters returning home to carry out attacks.

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Dutch intelligence chief explains why kids are on terror watch list
An Islamic State fighter is seen carrying a rocket-propelled grenade launcher in Iraq, in this still image taken from an amateur video supplied by Kurdish Peshmerga and received by Reuters on April 29, 2016. Amateur video/via REUTERS TV ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Islamic State fighters are seen inside a vehicle in Iraq, in this still image taken from an amateur video supplied by Kurdish Peshmerga and received by Reuters on April 29, 2016. Amateur video/via REUTERS TV ?ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.
An armoured Islamic State vehicle is hit in Iraq, in this still image taken from an amateur video supplied by Kurdish Peshmerga and received by Reuters on April 29, 2016. Amateur video/via REUTERS TV ?ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.
A man in an armoured vehicle, said to be a suicide bomber about to go out on a mission, talks to other Islamic State fighters in Iraq, in this still image taken from an amateur video supplied by Kurdish Peshmerga and received by Reuters on April 29, 2016. Amateur video/via REUTERS TV ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.
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