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Migration and Home Affairs
Expert opinion

RAN Practitioners small-scale expert meeting, Effective Communications when Foreign Terrorist Fighters and their Families Return, online meeting 01 December 2021


Publication date
24 January 2022
Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs
RAN Publications Topic
  • Foreign Terrorist Fighters and their families


At this RAN Practitioners small-scale expert meeting, several experts and experienced practitioners working with returning foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) and their families discussed their experiences with effectively and strategically communicating on returning FTFs and their families.

The key outcomes of this discussion were:

  • At the local level the strategic communication has less to do with big strategies for external communication towards the media and the general public (to influence public opinion), but in daily practice seems to have more to do with communicating with those who need to know for successful case management.
  • Building on the insight that proactive (external) communication is not always desirable on the local level, and considerations from the GAMMMA+ model on strategic and effective communication (explained later in this paper), what can be part of a strategic communication plan is to be prepared for a “crisis situation”, or another actor “hijacking” the narrative. Understanding the different target groups for communication and their needs was also found to be important.
  • Actors at local level, where local governments and partners try to organise successful reintegration and resocialisation, feel they are sometimes not helped by the framing and language that is being used in debates at national level. Local acceptance, cooperation and support for resocialisation are under pressure by discussions and framing in parliament and national media where the returnees and their families are being portrayed as potential or real terrorists.
Small-scale expert FTF Communications cover


24 JANUARY 2022
Effective Communications when Foreign Terrorist Fighters and their Families Return