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Migration and Home Affairs

Interviews of returnee children, with the assistance of an Islamologist

Target Audience
First responders or practitionersLocal community organisations/NGOsLaw enforcement officers
key themes association
Foreign Terrorist Fighters and their familiesMulti-agency cooperation
Peer Reviewed practice


Federal Police and Local Police

Type of Organisation: Governmental institution

Project description

Within the Belgian Federal Police we have developed the practice of interviewing children upon return from a conflict zone. They are being interviewed as victims or witnesses, using a specific child-friendly (“TAM”) protocol that is as non-intrusive as possible and allows maximum free speech.

The aim is to broaden our understanding of the various facets of Islamic State and their impact on the children of foreign fighters, by collecting their experience in an open, non-judgemental way.

The interviews are being conducted by police officers who are trained in the TAM protocol but who are not specialised in terrorism and therefore receive the assistance of an Islamologist with experience and expertise in this specific field.

This allows to quickly and efficiently combine two types of in-house expertise. The experience has allowed us to fine-tune our knowledge in the area, which in turn can contribute to more refined risk analyses but also to a better informed reintegration process.

Steps are being taken to roll out this expertise more broadly to make it more easily accessible to first-line practitioners, also outside the police force.


The practice has led to the writing of several short documents focused on the children’s experiences as they describe them, the knowledge collected previously about Islamic State and knowledge of Islamic concepts.

Contact details

Contact person: Gonzalez de Lara, Eva

Read the full practice

Interviews of returnee children, with the assistance of an Islamologist
(145.15 KB - PDF)