The Dutch security service (AIVD) had no indications last year that Muslim terrorists intended to commit an attack in the Netherlands. According to the 2006 yearly report that was presented Friday, it is still possible for such an attack to take place.
In general the AIVD says that the threat of so called Jihadist terrorism by Dutch born terrorist has gone down since 2005. In that helped the criminal prosecution of terror suspects and the deportation of members of extremist Muslim networks who had been declared persona non grata due to AIVD supplied information. The threat is less acute due to the internal discord and the (temporary) lack of "true leader figures".
However, the radicalization of part of the Muslim youth continues. An important boos is the Salafist movement, which preaches a very rigid interpretation of Islam, though on its own it doesn't call to violence.
Sybrand van Hulst, head of the AIVD stressed that radicalization does not lead to violence by definition, but that it can be a threat since it causes tension between groups in society and leads to polarization. Part of the approach to radicalization must be to provide a counterweight which would take the wind out of the sails of the radical movements.
Regarding jihadism, the approach to the internet is becoming more professional. "Besides more or less open and accessible websites there are also meanwhile professionally protected jihadist websites," according to the AIVD. The function of the internet has also shifted somewhat. In the past radical Muslims used it mainly to spread their message. In 2006 the service saw it being used more and more to start up networks.
Van Hulst thinks it is harder to assess the threat of international terrorism for the Netherlands. "The successful attack in Great Britain and the unsuccessful attacks in Germany show that the tide can quickly change," he concludes.
"The chance for an attack continues to exist," also from within the Netherlands, he emphasizes. "The networks in the Netherlands have lost their readiness. New leaders don't exist yet. But can however quickly change. Radicalization can run very quickly."
Source: Parool (Dutch)