Terrorists may strike outside Randstad: Donner
27 September 2005
AMSTERDAM — If the Netherlands is targeted by terrorists, the Randstad is not the only area of the country at risk, Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner has warned.
In an interview published in regional newspaper ‘Dagblad van het Noorden’ on Tuesday, Donner cautioned against the assumption that terrorism was only an issue for the 7.1 million residents of the Randstad.
The conurbation includes the four largest Dutch cities, Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague and Rotterdam.
“By definition the risks are greatest where there is the least resistance”, Donner said, and therefore people in other areas of the country also had to be on their guard.
“Naturally most people, even those outside the country, focus on Amsterdam. But I sometimes wonder whether these experts know where Amsterdam’s borders lie.”
The fact that only a small number of Muslims live in the north of the Netherlands offers no guarantees, the minister told the Groningen-based newspaper.
“Experience to date has taught us the risk has little or no relation to concentrations of particular groups of allochtonen (non-native residents) – precisely when I have noted that a major risk stems from domestic groups that have become radicalised,” Donner said.
The minister pointed out that suspected members of the alleged terrorist Hofstadgroep are well-integrated.
A dozen young Muslims are due to go on trial later this year charged with membership of the organisation, which the authorities say is a Muslim fundamentalist terror group.
One of the suspects is Amsterdammer Mohammed B. who was jailed for life in July for the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh.
“On the one hand, I want to tell people who live outside the Randstad that they should not see this as a something that has nothing to do with them. On the other, I also want to repeat that we must not get all stressed out either,” Donner said.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news