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Jelle van Buuren in Dutch Newspaper het NRC on Tolerating Extremist Youngsters

For a certain period the municipality of The Hague collaborated with the Salafist Quba mosque. The reason for the collaboration was to keep an eye on for radicalised youngsters. But as the collaboration progressed, the mosque became a breeding ground for Jihadists.

The collaboration between the Quba mosque, the municipality of The Hague, the police and NCTV starts in 2013. The mosque's imam is advised not to ban radicalised youngsters but to help. In exchange, the mosque provides the government with information about these radicalised youngsters. This approach enabled the government to keep track of these radicalised youngsters and prevents them from dropping of the radar. ‘There is a risk that comes with this approach,' says Jelle van Buuren, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs of Leiden University.  'By using this approach the government could unknowingly contribute to the formation of a Jihadist hub in a mosque. What you're saying is: let's welcome those extremists, knowing full well that they will be recruiting new youngsters for their ideology. But it is possible that the benefits of the strategy outweigh the risks: because it makes it easier to collect intelligence on the network inside the mosque which in turn allows you to make more accurate threat assessments.'

You can read the full article (in Dutch) on the website of newspaper het NRC.

Jelle van Buuren is an Assistant Professor at Leiden University - Institute of Security and Global Affairs. His research interests include European police cooperation, intelligence cooperation and border management. In his current research he addresses the question of the role of conspiracy thinking in processes of delegitimization.

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