Big investment in Dutch terror fight

25th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

25 January 2005, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Cabinet has agreed to inject EUR 414 million over the next four years to combat terrorism and extremism and to recruit almost 800 extra security and justice officers. But opposition MPs claim the measures are inadequate.

25 January 2005

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Cabinet has agreed to inject EUR 414 million over the next four years to combat terrorism and extremism and to recruit almost 800 extra security and justice officers. But opposition MPs claim the measures are inadequate.

The Dutch security service AIVD and regional intelligence services will recruit in total 307 workers, the police and public prosecution service will recruit 90 and the military police will hire an extra 148 officers.

An extra 242 workers will be employed by the Royal and Diplomatic Security Service (DKDB) and by a protection and security unit due to increasing demands for personal protection.

The expansion in the capacity of security services to gather information will allow for a clearer assessment of the threat to be drawn up and counter measures taken, the government website regering.nl said.

The authorities will also be allowed to take action against terror suspects or alleged extremists even if no evidence of criminal activities is found. The suspects will be forced to periodically report to police or be banned from contacting other suspects or coming in the vicinity of potential terrorist targets.

Religious leaders, imams for example, may be banned from giving sermons if they are found to be inciting hate or violence. Teachers may also be banned from working in schools.

The cabinet has decided to designate permanent security zones in which random members of the public can be searched. Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and other airports in the country will likely be earmarked as security zones.

In other measures, Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner and Interior Minister Johan Remkes said the new anti-terror unit, Nationaal Coördinator Terrorismebestrijding, has been operational since the start of the year. The unit is responsible for policy, intelligence analysis and directing security measures.

Investigations into terrorist suspects continue and the previously announced colour-code terror warning system is expected to be introduced on 1 March. The system will initially apply to the rail sector, Rotterdam (to secure the city's port), Schiphol and the water and electricity industries.

But the opposition Labour PvdA said the government's plans were too vague. It said the government was all talk and no action. MP Peter Van Heemst also claimed that the government had largely ignored earlier criticism while drawing up its plans.

The Green-left GroenLinks agreed and said the cabinet was being "irresponsibly strong" on rooting out terrorist activists, while not tackling the root causes of the problem.

The Christian Democrat CDA and Liberal VVD — the two main coalition government parties — were understandably pleased with the plans. Smaller coalition partner the Democrat D66 was less so, claiming that insufficient attention was placed on the recruitment of young people by extremists.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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