Dutch intelligence agency stopped 4 terror attacks in the Netherlands

Rob Bertholee (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Ministerie van Defensie)Rob Bertholee (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Ministerie van Defensie)

The Algemene Inlichtingen en Veiligheidsdienst (AIVD), the Dutch intelligence agency, has prevented 4 terrorist attacks from taking place since 2011. That is according to AIVD's chief Rob Bertholee, who commented it in an interview at the TV program College Tour.

Bertholee regarded these 4 threats as "specific, severe cases", and he mentioned one of them, the arrest of Jaouad A. in Rotterdam. A. was caught in possession of an automatic weapon  and dangerous "firework explosives", enough to explode a car. Due to his jihadist believes and the illegal possession Jaouad A. was sentenced last year to 4 years of detention.

During the interview the AIVD's chief alleged that in the last years his team investigated on hundreds terrorist threats. He added that "the risk of an attack is actually present", and that if no attacks have taken place so far, it's thanks to the police, the justice and "pure luck". 

Bertholee also discussed cyber security, calling the Netherlands naive on the matter. On his opinion "security is more important than privacy", and he gave the Dutch cyber security a 6 out of 10, "which is enough, but it could easily become a 5".

Bertholee supports the new intelligence- and security-services law (called "sleepwet" by its opponents), which would allow these services to obtain a great deal of data from the internet traffic and strengthen the cyber security at the same time. The AIVD has concrete evidence that countries like China, Russia and Iran intentionally tried to hack Dutch governmental systems, according to him.

The agency works with the intelligence services from other countries, but with the U.S. Bertholee told that they are "extra careful with the information they share", due to the unpredictability of Trump's presidency.

The interview on College Tour will be broadcast in Dutch on Sunday, January 21 on NTR.