31 May 2023, by Victoria Séveno

The Dutch Counter-Terrorism Unit (NCTV) has issued a statement warning that the terrorist threat to the Netherlands has increased over the past six months, and reports that jihadist organisations have explicitly mentioned the Netherlands as a target for potential attacks. 

Dutch terrorist threat level remains 3 out of 5

In the NCTV’s latest Terrorism Threat Assessment Netherlands (DTN 58), the organisation states that the national threat level continues to be set at level three out of five, meaning an attack in the Netherlands is “conceivable” but that there is no concrete evidence to suggest an attack imminent or even highly likely. 

The report explains that, while the threat of attacks from ISIS increased across Europe in 2022, the Netherlands is increasingly mentioned as a legitimate target for attacks, specifically as retaliation for recent incidents which involved the destruction of a Quran.

“Various pro-ISIS channels have called for retaliatory actions against Western countries via social media, including explicitly Sweden and to a lesser extent the Netherlands” the NCTV explains. “Dutch interests abroad in particular run the risk of being hit by an attack.”

NCTV: Risk from right-wing and anti-institutional extremists is limited

While the threat from right-wing extremists has become “more diffuse and unpredictable in recent years”, with only a “minority of right-wing extremists [posing] a violent threat,” the NCTV does point out that there is a group attempting to “propagate right-wing extremist ideas”. The report highlights the racist language that was projected onto the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam at midnight on New Year’s Eve as an example of this.

Finally, the NCTV explains that, while the threat of anti-institutional violence is limited, in the longer term anti-institutional extremism “can undermine the democratic legal order,” with some conspiracy theorists feeding distrust in the government “through the narrative of an evil elite.” This means that anti-institutionalism “primarily poses a threat to the democratic legal order.”

Thumb: Milos Ruzicka via Shutterstock.com.

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