ISIS planning attacks in Europe, says Dutch counter-terror boss
New indications point to terrorist organization Islamic State planning more attacks in Europe, according to National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security Dick Schoof. But there are currently no concrete indications of an attack being planned in the Netherlands and the threat level therefore remains unchanged at "substantial", he writes in the Terrorist Threat Assessment Netherlands, which was sent to Parliament on Wednesday.
Schoof speaks of a "complex threat assessment", consisting of may angles including terrorist organizations, transnational networks, small cells and loners. All of these add to the threat of attack Th threat of jihadist terrorist attacks is very large, and 2015 was the worst ever year when it came to terrorist attack in Western countries. Last year 14 terrorist attacks were committed in Western countries, double that of 2014. Nine of these attacks happened in Europe, with Paris bearing the brunt of it.
In addition to jihadist attacks, there is also a threat of left- and right-wing extremism. PVV leader Geert Wilders' calls for nonviolent resistance against asylum seekers are being abused by extremists. Schoof calls the increase in the number of threats, intimidation and violence surrounding the asylum debate and Islam in the Netherlands very worrying. "Thre is extra vigilance regarding the security situation of mosques, both at the local and national level."
The Counterterrorism Coordinator also addressed reports from end February that eight Dutch jihadists were executed by ISIS and another 75 were taken into custody. "While it is possible that there is conflict between ISIS members in which Dutch jihadists are also involved, and it is known that ISIS also regularly executes people from its own ranks, the execution and imprisonment of such large numbers of Dutch jihadists is unlikely for the time being."