Anti-Islam Pegida getting more radical, but smaller: Cabinet Minister

Anti-Islam organization Pegida is getting smaller in the Netherlands, but its remaining supporters are increasingly radical, Minister Sander Dekker of Legal Protection - which falls under the Ministry of Justice and Security - said on Tuesday, the Volkskrant reports.

Dekker based this statement on a report by the National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism and Security, which will be published next week. He was answering parliamentary questions about an anti-mosque action Pegida held in Enschede on Sunday. Pegida supporters placed a small 'church' and cross on the construction site of a new mosque, and then baptized it with pigs' blood, according to the newspaper.

The Minister refused to comment on whether the Pegida supporters involved in Sunday's action will be arrested and prosecuted, as the police are still investigating whether any criminal offenses were committed. "I can not say when that investigation will be done", he said, adding that he can say the police are taking the matter seriously. 

Dekker emphasized that the authorities are keeping a close eye on Pegida. "We closely monitor groups like these. This was not the first incident in Enschede. Last year there was an even more serious incident in which the mosque had to deal with guys who threw Molotov cocktails inside and started a fire. Five people were sentenced to quite high sentences for that", the Minister said.