Home Affairs Minister Johan Remkes knows of "six or seven" locations in the Netherlands where terrorist acts are glorified. Moreover, some ten to twenty terrorist factions are currently active in the country.
In a Lower House debate, most parties expressed their concern over the increasing radicalisation among Muslims in the Netherlands. Radical currents are rapidly acquiring more influence in an increasing number of mosques and on the Internet, they unanimously asserted. The secret service (AIVD) recently warned that Salafism is particularly on the up. This is a radical current that advocates a return to 'pure' Islam.
Remkes did not wish to give specific details of the current situation, but did say there were "around six to seven places" which show "indications of alarming radicalisation". These places are mostly mosques, but Salafist preachers also travel around to hold lectures throughout the country. As was the case last year, some ten to twenty terrorist factions are still operational. These groups all vary greatly in size, shape and composition, as Remkes stated.
MP Geert Wilders (Group Wilders) wondered why the government is not closing down mosques if objectionable activities take place there. But Remkes and Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner argued that they lacked the legal basis to do so. Furthermore, Donner believes "closing down a mosque would be too late effect-wise anyway, since radical ideas would already have been propagated".
Remkes pointed out that radicalised individuals can continue to go about their business, even when their mosque is closed. Together with Donner, he said that the cabinet are doing "all in their power" to combat radicalisation. "People involved in radicalisation will be called to account", as Remkes stated.
From his own research, Remkes concluded that the fear of a terrorist attack among the Dutch has lessened during the past months. As a result of a national anti-terror campaign launched in February, 14 percent are still afraid of a terrorist attack compared to 21 percent before the campaign, he claimed. Another study revealed recently that most Dutch people had never even heard of the campaign.
Source: NIS News (English)