IND strengthens investigation of open sources for national security

Last update: 6 June 2023

The asylum and family reunification processes offer sufficient possibilities to recognise signs of terrorism, but specific improvements are possible and desirable in addition. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) is toughening the screening in the asylum process. And in case of signs of possible danger to national security, the IND does a more extensive investigation of open sources. These are the outcomes of a system check under the direction of the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV) by different cooperating organisations in security and migration matters, including the IND. 

In addition, an evaluation was carried out of the case of a Syrian man who was arrested at the beginning of this year in Arkel on suspicion of participation in a terrorist organisation. This shows that all partners took the customary steps correctly. 

Sufficient, but it can be better

The evaluation of the case in Arkel illustrates the more widespread results of the investigation. It emerges from the system check that the existing processes are generally sufficient, but can be better. Certainly with a view to the longer term and to possible changes to the threat. 

Changes to the procedures of the IND

The IND is going to make changes on two points. First of all, improvement of the investigation of open sources during the screening in the asylum and family reunification processes. Clearer work instructions will be made for searching on internet, including social media, during this standard screening and agreements to guarantee minimal search enquiries. 

In addition, by 1 July at the latest, the IND will conduct a more extensive investigation of open sources at the time that there are signs that an applicant poses a possible danger to national security. This investigation will be done by employees with specialist knowledge about open source investigation on internet. Only after this more extensive investigation has been concluded can a case be reported to the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD). This will ensure that both the AIVD and the IND will have the most complete idea possible of what is going on. 

Attention paid to quality of investigation

The IND will therefore continue to work on improvement of the quality of investigation into threats to national security in carrying out the asylum and family reunification process. In doing so, the IND works structurally together with the other organisations that are engaged in this. More information on the system check and the other improvements in the cooperating organisations can be found in the letter to the House of Representatives (only in Dutch)