International Conference on Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters
The Mayor of the city of The Hague is pleased to invite you to the International Conference on 'Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters' for senior officials, practitioners, and experts, to be held in The Hague on 15-16 February, 2017.
The territorial defeat of ISIL in Syria and Iraq seems imminent, bringing with it a changing dynamic. So far, an estimate of 30% of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) has either returned home or moved to a third state. We have to prepare for more returning FTF's. These returning FTF's will be a different category to those we have seen before. They have participated in armed combat and are therefore more battle-hardened. Attacks in cities like Paris, Brussels and Istanbul illustrates the ability of terrorist organisations like ISIL to mobilise (returned) FTF's and involve or inspire home-grown terrorist. This poses serious and complex challenges to global as well as local safety and security in which a comprehensive and multifaceted response is needed. This response needs to be based on strong multidisciplinary cooperation, combining "soft" and "hard" measures and addressing both the symptoms of radicalization and extremism and its underlying causes.
Learning from experience
The Hague has been dealing with radicalization issues for many years and would like to share its experiences and approaches at the local level with others. At the same time The Hague recognizes how much it can learn from others in similar situations, in Europe, the US and Canada. Cooperation between practitioners and officials in international fora such as the Strong Cities Network, the European Forum for Urban Security and the EU's Radicalisation Awareness Network, offer a wealth of experience and insights to draw upon when responding to these new realities.
The Mayor of The Hague is pleased to invite you to the International Conference on Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters and share your valuable insights, best practices and lessons learned with colleagues from across the spectrum, including community police, the prosecutor's office, prisons and probation and frontline practitioners. Based on the needs of participants themselves, the Conference format will be interactive, with inspiration sessions, practical working groups and a field visit to the "Schilderswijk", a neighbourhood of The Hague known not only for its challenges, but also for its innovative, participatory approaches.