No al-Qaeda branch active in the Netherlands

No al-Qaeda branch active in the Netherlands

17th December 2008, Comments 0 comments

The al-Qaeda terrorist network does not have a Dutch branch - that's according to the Netherlands' National Anti-terrorism Co-ordinator, Tjibbe Joustra.

Speaking just two days after 14 al-Qaeda suspects were arrested in neighbouring Belgium, Mr Joustra said on IKON television that no national or international terrorist networks are currently active in the Netherlands.

The present terrorism threat level remains 'substantial', although an increase is likely as anti-Islam MP and Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders is currently on a trip to the Middle East, France, the United Kingdom and the United States to show and discuss his controversial anti-Qu'ran film Fitna, Mr Joustra told ANP press agency.
Outgoing Dutch National Anti-terrorism Co-ordinator, Tjibbe Joustra © RNW
The anti-terror czar emphasises that "Ninety-nine percent of terrorist attacks happen in Islamic countries, often killing fellow believers of the attackers. This does not make those terror groups any more popular. As a reaction, they turn more and more to Western targets. The Netherlands is being mentioned as one of the priority countries for terrorists."
Speaking in Jerusalem on Sunday,  denied that the release of his film on the Internet earlier this year had increased the risk of attacks in the Netherlands. 

The Dutch politician and uncompromising Islam critic says that people who want to use violence to further "horrible aims" will do so, regardless of any film. 
Geert Wilders

His film Fitna is a 16-minute collage, containing footage of terrorist acts interspersed with Islamic symbols and prayers, and with a suggestive voice-over. The film portrays Islam's holy book as a text that incites its followers to use violence against non-believers.

Leaving office
Mr Joustra's term as National Anti-terrorism Co-ordinator ends on 1 January. He will then return to the Dutch agricultural sector to serve as chairman of a horticultural producers' association. Before becoming a terrorist fighter, Mr Joustra had a long career in the ministry of agriculture. So far, no one has been named as his successor to lead the Dutch anti-terrorism effort.
Radio Netherlands

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