On 25 September 2015, GCTF members launched the GCTF Initiative to Address the Life Cycle of Radicalization to Violence. The Initiative was designed to capture the full life cycle of radicalisation where governments and communities need to assess the risk posed by radicalised individuals and determine how best to prosecute and/or reintegrate them into society. As part of this Initiative, the GCTF FTF Working Group proposed to develop recommendations addressing the returning FTFs. The co-chairs, The Netherlands and Morocco, asked ICCT to assist in developing the Addendum to The Hague - Marrakech Memorandum.
The GCTF’s The Hague-Marrakech Memorandum focuses on the threat of FTFs. States are increasingly concerned with the potential threat posed by FTFs who return home or travel to a third State. This threat ranges from the involvement in plotting terrorist attacks, to establishing new terrorist cells, or linking up with existing local terrorist networks. Returning FTFs can also provide operational expertise, raise funds for terrorist activities, be actively involved in recruitment, or be a source of inspiration to others susceptible to terrorist ideologies. There is also the risk that a returning FTF may suffer from post-traumatic disorder (PTSD), disillusionment and be vulnerable to (further) radicalisation, thus becoming a danger to both themselves and their direct surroundings. Furthermore, the distinction between “home-grown” and “foreign” terrorist fighters is becoming increasingly blurred.
GCTF, alongside the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) and in close collaboration with ICCT and other GCTF Working Groups, convened an experts meeting in March 2016. This was done to share good practices, challenges, and experiences with regard to returning FTFs. In May 2016, GCTF members further convened a Plenary Meeting to review the conclusions of this, as well as share best practices and provide input for the drafting of an Addendum.
Drawing on the insight from these meetings, ICCT developed the "Addendum to The Hague - Marrakech Memorandum on Good Practices for a More Effective Response to the FTF Phenomenon, with a focus on Returning FTFs.”
About the project
The "Addendum to The Hague-Marrakech Memorandum on Good Practices for a More Effective Response to the FTF Phenomenon, with a focus on Returning FTs" included those to:
- Ensure timely detection of, and intensify information sharing on returning FTFs, with and between States;
- Use individual risk assessment tools that provide a basis for tailor-made interventions;
- Apply a case-by-case approach and address specific categories of returnees;
- Invest and develop a close partnership with local government and communities to deal with returning FTFs;
- Engage and build sustainable partnerships with multi-disciplinary actors in the private sector and civil society organisations;
- Integrate rehabilitative measures within and beyond the criminal justice response;Consider using administrative procedures within a rule of law framework to effectively mitigate the risk posed by returning FTFs.