Most Dutch worry about terrorist attack in Netherlands

Some 70 percent of adult Dutch are worried about a terrorist attack being committed in the Netherlands, according to a study published by Statistics Netherlands on Monday. Four in ten Dutch think there is a good chance of an attack in the Netherlands and 16 percent worry about an attack on a regular basis.

Despite these concerns, only 4 percent think it likely that they themselves will be the victim of an attack.

Nearly 40 percent of Dutch say they are more alert in their daily lives due to worries about a terrorist attack. They keep a closer eye on people acting suspiciously or people hanging around in areas where they seemingly shouldn't be. Dutch are also specifically alert to people carrying large backpacks or suitcases and people with a foreign appearance, especially in areas where many people gather, such as train stations and shopping centers.

Only a small proportion of Dutch are changing their behavior due to their fear for a terrorist attack. 7 percent are no longer traveling by airplane, 7 percent are avoiding large events, and 3 percent are no longer using public transit. 

The data for this study was collected in the first half of 2016 - after attacks in France at Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan in Paris. And the attack on the Brussels airport happened during the survey. Several other attacks happened in Europe since. Despite this, Statistics Netherlands does not think the results are dated.

"The fact that there were some attacks afterwards, means that the figures may be different and even higher", Maarten Bloem of the statistics office said to AD. "But by then there had already been a series of attacks close by."


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