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The Netherlands has detailed counterterrorism provisions in its Criminal Code. There is no carve-out for the exercise of fundamental human rights. A terrorist financing law was amended most recently in 2020.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

Terrorism is defined in the Criminal Code by reference to other specific criminal offences in the Code when they are committed with "terrorist intent".

Terrorist intent is understood to mean the intent to harm the population or part of the population of a country to create serious fear, or to unlawfully compel a government or international organization to do or not to do something, or to seriously disrupt or destroy the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a country or an international organization.Art. 83A, Criminal Code of the Netherlands.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties

The Netherlands is a State Party to all of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.

Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State Party


The Netherlands is also a State Party to the main regional treaties on terrorism.

Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1977 European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism State Party
2003 Protocol amending the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism State Party
2005 Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism State Party
2015 Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism State Party

In adhering to the 1977 Convention, the Kingdom of the Netherlands reserved the "right to refuse extradition in respect of any offence mentioned in Article 1 of the Convention including the attempt to commit or participation in one of these offences, which it considers to be a political offence or an offence connected with a political offence". It has made a similar declaration with respect to the 2005 Convention. 

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

A criminal offence committed with terrorist intent increases the severity of the sentence that is imposed by the courts upon conviction.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

Some 20 government agencies in the Netherlands are involved in countering terrorism. A National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security acts to coordinate these bodies.

The Dutch police have a specialized counterterrorism unit, the Dienst Speciale Interventies, which includes a number of military personnel.


Netherlands Penal Code (at 2014 original Dutch)

Netherlands Terrorism Financing Act (as amended through 2020) (English translation)

Netherlands Terrorism Financing Act (as amended through 2020) (Dutch original)