Rotterdam, The Netherlands


Rotterdam has been at the forefront of countering violent extremism with its comprehensive anti-radicalisation strategy and efforts to cooperate with cities all over the world facing similar challenges. An estimated 315 Dutch citizens have travelled to Syria and Iraq. Of these, approximately 90 have died and 60 have returned back to the Netherlands. In recent years, the number of reported cases of Islamist radicalisation in Rotterdam has increased steadily according to both the police and the Radicalisation Contact and Advisory Point (MAR).

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The Dutch National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV) is responsible for analysing the national and international terrorist threat against the Netherlands. The NCTV issues threat assessments reports four times a year, which form the basis of the Dutch national counterterrorism strategy. The Dutch National Counterterrorism Strategy 2016-2020 outlines the broader counter terrorism strategy of the Netherlands for the current period. It identifies 5 “intervention areas”: acquire information; prevent; defend; prepare; and prosecute. For each of these areas, multi-agency structures are in place to ensure cooperation between different partners and government levels, including local governments and municipalities.

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The [email protected] is the overall security strategy of the City of Rotterdam, aimed at creating a safe city with reduced crime levels. For the most vulnerable areas, the city has appointed ‘city marines’ as part of the [email protected] strategy. These are local on-the-ground city workers that monitor safety, develop new security measures where necessary and engage with the local community to do so. The [email protected] also encompasses crime that undermines society, polarisation and social unrest, radicalisation, extremism and terrorism, high impact crimes and cyber-resilience.

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Official Strategy Documents & Action Plans

  • National Counterterrorism Strategy 2016-2020
  • The [email protected]
  • Rotterdam's approach to radicalisation, extremism and polarisation 2018-2022  (Dutch, English)
  • Rotterdam’s Resilient City Strategy


Name: Ahmed Aboutaleb

Role: Mayor of Rotterdam

Ahmed Aboutaleb