"Terror threat" restores security budget

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Cuts to the Netherlands Security Service AIVD are going to be entirely restored. The Cabinet does not believe it responsible to make cuts to the budget of this service, especially seeing the new heightened threat of a terrorist attack inside the country, De Telegraaf reports.

The budget is even getting bigger. The service in Zoetermeer will get an added €25 million per year. Calcculating in a previous budget cut, the secret service will have €9 million less to spend from 2018 than it has now.

Minister Ronald Plasterk of Internal Affairs added this previous budget cut of €70 million in the Autumn plan (Herfstakkoord).

On Monday, the AIVD came out with a report that notes an elevation in the threat of an impending terrorist attack in The Netherlands. The rise of pro-extremist muslim fighters traveling to or from Syria for jihad is worrisome, to the Cabinet as well. These Dutch citizens forsaking the Dutch society for a radicalized muslim one are called 'polderjihadists'.

"That requires good supervision of people", Plasterk explains as the reason for this new budget inflation. "Cyber attacks have also increased tremendously, and when we determined the original cuts, the eastern border of the EU was still relatively calm and we saw Russia as a kind of ally. Now this is not as self-evident."

On Sunday, a new Caliphate, or Islamic state, was declared in parts of Syria and Iraq. AIVD chief Rob Bertholee is noting the lack of reserve with which extremist muslims show their support for ISIS at demonstrations and on the internet. He is very worried about the growing group of young radicals in The Netherlands. Bertholee tells the Algemeen Dagblad that this declaration of a Caliphate is a "trigger for potential jihadists."

"Jihadism offers the idea that paradise on earth can finally be realised", says Peter Knoope, director of the International Center for Counter-Terrorism. "Apparently there are so many unsatisfied youths who feel attracted towards that, that these groups get a lot of support."

Most worrying are the polderjihadists who go to Syria and come back. These have been confronted with extreme violence, and can be traumatised. This could lead them to do extreme things. The AIVD is also keeping in mind the possibility that these returned polderjihadists may have gotten orders to execute an attack in Europe.

According to De Telegraaf, the money for this budgetary restoration will come from 'general resources'.

Minister Plasterk says that existing savings in efficiency means that more money can go to the operational capacities.

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