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Rising threat from Jihadists, according to Dutch Intelligence

The Dutch intelligence agency AIVD has released its annual report, in which it warns of a resurgence in jihadist networks, and in industrial espionage. Radio Netherlands reports:
The AIVD describes the truly violent sector as "jihadist networks". In the Netherlands, "after a period of relative calm", these have become rather more active again, although the report says they don't represent any specific threat. This would seem to contradict the "increased threat" which AIVD head Gerard Bouman referred to during the presentation of the report.

Partly on the basis of AIVD information, the terrorist threat level was recently raised from "limited" to "substantial". This was due both to increased activity on the part of jihadist networks elsewhere in Europe (including foiled attacks) and the commotion surrounding the film Fitna made by Dutch MP Geert Wilders. The head of the AIVD praised the Dutch Muslim community for what he described as its "restrained reaction" to the film.
The AIVD also claims to have extradited foreign spies from Russia and from China on multiple occassions. Russian spies were said to be most interested in the energy sector, and China is accused of more broadly enlisting Chinese immigrants for industrial espionage.

The thematic focus of the report itself (nl) is on cooperation between intelligence agencies. As the report explains, there are effective existing structures for cooperation between intelligence agencies and it is a misunderstanding to want to force cooperation through new institutions. Any new institution has to prove its added value. This scepticism of institutional fixes has become widespread in the Dutch government and bureaucracy.

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franchie on :

How is regarded Geert Wilders in Holland ? do the people approve his video ? Having read a bit on him, I guess he irritated the muslim world and now it's focusing on the Dutchs like it did for Danmark a few years ago ; though I know that the new jihadists' agenda is also to infiltrate the western countries, I suppose they make a file on the persons that are weak enough in their ideals, to be attracted by a new islam "revolution" for the poors, replacing the communists in a way

Nanne on :

As far as I can tell there has been more brouhaha about the lead up and the official politics about the movie than about the movie itself. Most Dutch people are a bit tired about it, I would guess. Wilders has support among a small minority and is perceived as unserious by the large majority of the Dutch. This does not mean that they all disagree with his ideas. Rita Verdonk, who has some similar ideas, is polling extremely well right now. She is running a politically much smarter platform.

Álvaro Degives-Más on :

Geert Wilders is a ruckus-prone rightwing populist who was thrown out of the Liberal (in the US: Libertarian) party, the VVD. His movie, unsurprisingly, caused only apprehension in the wake of the Danish cartoon fracas. Other than that, it's widely derided as a shoddy piece of incendiary, fact-challenged politics, and hailed only by the few who are blinded by visceral "national identity crisis" angst. The new "Proud of the Netherlands" party is much more interesting. All the more, as the leader is also a former prominent VVD figure. Still, the so-called "new right" in the Netherlands is not by a stretch comparable to (much) earlier manifestations of far-right populism, such as FN in France, BNP in the UK, or even Jörg Haider's outfit in Austria. For one, the Dutch "new right" folks have no inherent problem with the newly introduced different religion of Islam; they're instead more focused on enforcing some "social contract" by which (permanent) immigrants are asked to formalize adherence to the "common ways" of the country, including its social rules (e.g., tolerance regarding homosexuality, proactive engagement to avoid the sadly typical second-generation disenfranchisement, etc.) However... Taking a few steps back: there's also [url="http://www.elpais.com/articulo/espana/jefe/Qaeda/Espana/financio/terroristas/carcel/elpepuesp/20080428elpepinac_5/Tes"]this recent article[/url] in Spanish El País, according to which the Jihadist leader nicknamed Abu Dahdah has been directing financial support to al-Q'aida (!!!) from his cell... What I mean is that, while always needing to regard intel community assessments with all due precaution, there's more to the Dutch uneasiness than meets the eye. And clearly, it's not a "Dutch" issue, either. The relatively sudden and certainly shocking appearance of al-Q'aida in the West is but one more manifestation of the myriad legacy problems, stemming from mass immigration, that have been left to rot for more than a generation, and only now that "social alarm" is driving politicians into visceral mode, is getting more attention. But the underlying issue of how to address the inequalities that drive mass migration is still pretty much taboo, relegated to a status of a "leftist issue" - a few rightwing oddball exceptions notwithstanding (e.g. Huntington), who prefer to safely frame it as a "cultural war" of sorts, where a "victory" would redraw the map with "cordon sanitaire" and all. Just as the US is being transformed rapidly by mass immigration, Europe undergoes the same. But the issue isn't "crime" (or "terrorism" even), it's the notion of sustainable development that should dictate the agenda (and actions) toward a new balance. Until then, it's a waste of a lot of hot air and underbelly emotions, to which especially the middle class is most sensitive - and the middle class in panic mode is Europe's (and the US') worst nightmare ingredient.

franchie on :

you reassure me, more or less even in France people think also that there is an "islamism danger", but I don't expect that the people would agress the muslims purposely, either with carricatures or with a video, they rather try to have talk shows with the persons that have different reading of the koran and sharia ; since a few years there also are muslim intellectuals that dare to confront Tarik Ramadan or alike on TV. well, we are not a fanatic religious country, therefore lots of muslims finally rally our modus vivendi. But, there are still those extremists that try to frighten and lecture the uneducated magreb population. that'also the business of our secret services to keep an eye on them ; as far as teaching religion, I think Sarkozy made a good decision : to force the foreign imams to get an university degree in french and french laws to lead the mosquee prays and discourses ; each mosquee has its french rapporter, calls for hate against any other population are forbidden. The net is also surveyed, dunno since how long, may-be since the net is available. we know That AQ has France in focus, especially more since Sarko election. Algeria is one of the origins ; we help also the government there.

John in Michigan, USA on :

"This would seem to contradict the 'increased threat' which AIVD head Gerard Bouman referred to" This line sounds like a journalist trying to manufacture a story of government or intelligence incompetence. It is certainly possible to have an increased threat without a specific threat. What exactly was the contradiction? I too hope that the Islamist reaction to the Fitna film will remain free of violence. However, we should keep in mind that the hyper-violent reaction to the Danish cartoons only happened months after they were first published. It seems clear from circumstantial evidence that the delay was not due to simple ignorance of the cartoon's existence, and the reaction was anything but spontaneous. Probably, Islamists arranged for the cartoons to be re-published (and, if you recall, enhanced to seem more offensive than they actually were), and coordinated their propaganda campaign with Friday prayers, and caused Danish flags to suddenly appear in regions that normally don't have any, etc. The resulting violent incidents may not have been specifically planned, but were nevertheless forseeable by the organizers. So we should wait several months to a year before concluding that Fitna has passed without incident.

Álvaro Degives-Más on :

Excellent observation: [quote]This line sounds like a journalist trying to manufacture a story of government or intelligence incompetence.[/quote] And yes, the Danish cartoon fracas was [i]most decidedly[/i] fanned by extremists, fairly long after their publication - remember the cleric going on a Middle Eastern tour/trip with those cartoons? But once again: kudos to your observation about knowing how to properly assess intel reports. Sadly, there are people who have a perverted, obsessive addiction to absolute certainty and proof positive and yet get a job in journalism, as well.

A_guy on :

@Nanne Zwagerman [i] The tragedy of this approach is that it comes from a man who served his country in uniform and risked his life on behalf of the U.S. McCain would have been a natural choice to lead a campaign for restoration of American sovereignty in foreign affairs. He could have been "The American President Americans have been waiting for." [/i] McCain and John Kerry are all VIETNAM-WAR heros. They bravely fight north vietname comunists and civilian Vietnamese as well. US 's invasion to Vietname leaves so many poor orphans there. now that tragedy goes on in Iraq. Millions of civilian people became the victims of 911 events. The revenge against Islam wolrd is performed by Bush with the highly biased western media's help. It's very interesting that George W Bush use his father 's influence escaping Vietname war, when he step up to the president position, He initiate 2 war against Islam world,and prepare the third war against Iran. Islam extremists is carrying out Jihard (holy war) against western world , at the same time Bush carry out his religious war also. I don't think the word "CRUSADE" is a slip-of-tongue from Bush. It reflect Republican conservative 's world view and strategy. @Nanne Zwagerman [i] "...true conservatism as a political force will be finished in the U.S. " [/i] This affirmation is totally absurd. Conservatism exists in US for hundreds of years. It is not unique to US, In Europe Conservatism also has its soils. It prevails when a country is in trouble(like economic crisis , racist conflicts). Western world still admire those Conservatism advocators like Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, They embrace cruel dictators like General Augusto Pinochet to reward his anti-communist "achievements". Republican Conservative people are the bulwark of the united states. They know what US need most and can do anything immoral to achieve that goal. Western world is experiencing an financial crisis, the deteriorating economic situation will make Conservatism a new style. I don't understand when western world find its imminent enemies ,why conservatism should be give up. Does Nanne Zwagerman hint us that Republican conservative hardliners have fidelity problem and can not keep his hawkish words? I don't think Nanne Zwagerman's points stand a reason. His arbitrary conclusion reminds me Francis Fukuyama's renowned work [The End of History],The Japanese-American scholar draw inspiration from the success of cold war and allege:"... All the people will embrace western world values(democracy,freedom,liberty... ), with the development of democracy and freedom the history of all the country will evlove in one and only one orbit.Then there will be no war at all"(be loyal to Fukuyama's points not his very expression) Francis Fukuyama made a lot of research and provided with so many facts to prove his points. Although his allegation proved to be wrong, but his spirits and attitude of seeking truth from facts is highly appreciated by me . Nanne Zwagerman seems good at dishing out illogical points instead of sentific research.

Nanne on :

Eh?? Wrong thread. Those claims were not made by me, but by Cliff Kincaid. I quoted him to show that the conservative wing of the Republican party is not completely happy with McCain. I did not exactly endorse any of it.

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