THE HAGUE, 27/04/07 – The terrorism threat level for the Netherlands has been lowered from ‘substantial’ to ‘limited.’ “An important reason for the reduced threat is that the situation around Jihadist networks is quite quiet,” the National Anti-Terrorism Coordinator (NCTB) reported.
“Some Jihadist networks have collapsed due both to government measures and to their own lack of leadership and internal divisions. Additionally, there is in the existing networks a gulf between the Jihadist ideal and the practice. Here it may be assumed that recent court convictions, placing of the Hofstad group on the EU terrorism list and deportations have had a braking effect on new growth.”
“The ‘limited’ level means that the chances of a terrorist attack are relatively limited at the moment, but that an attack can certainly not be completely ruled out. This change has no effect on the present security measures.”
“Internationally, while there may be indications that the core of Al Qa’ida is making a comeback, this currently applies to Pakistan (with emanation to the UK) and North Africa. As yet there are no indications that North African networks will operate outside their own region. North Africa does form an important component in the conceivable threat in the direction of Europe and possibly the Netherlands, partly due to the population composition in the Netherlands,” where many Moroccans live.
“The radical Islamic (salafist) body of thought has gained influence strongly in the Netherlands since 2005. Additionally, there is also a lively youth and Internet culture. This makes the idea of radical Islam very accessible. But the ‘being in fashion’ of orthodox and even extremist variants can also mean that they can also drop ‘out of fashion’ again.”
“Despite positive developments, there remains concern about radicalisation. The increase in salafism occurred in the past mainly by actively influencing mosques and sometimes also actually trying to take over mosques.” It is also “remarkable” that salafism is increasingly preached in Turkish and Berber (a Moroccan language), as well as in Dutch and Arabic. The latter language is less used, because “many Muslim youngsters are not strong in Arabic.”