Right-wing extremism gaining ground in Netherlands, Intelligence Service says

The AIVD building in Zoetermeer
The AIVD building in ZoetermeerPhoto: S.J. de Waard / Wikimedia Commons

Right-wing extremists in the Netherlands are increasingly vocal about encouraging and glorifying violence against Muslims and the government in particular, intelligence service AIVD said in a new publication. While this group seldom resorts to physical violence, the AIVD is concerned about the climate arising in the Netherlands, NU.nl reports. 

While the activities of right-wing extremists are, for the most part, not physically violent, verbal violence is becoming increasingly important within that scene, the AIVD said. Their self-confidence is growing when it comes to confrontations with left-wing extremists, though left-wing extremists still seem more willing to use violence, the service concluded. 

The main focus among right-wing extremists is currently on anti-Islam ideas, where in the past it was more neo-Nazi, fascist and anti-Semitic ideas. Furthermore, the alt-right vision has spread from the United States and is trying to root into Dutch society and public administration, according to the AIVD. Due to the use of social media, there is also more and more 'disorganized' right-wing extremism, instead of more or less defined groups as in the past.

The use of language among right-wing extremists is becoming increasingly violent and they show a great fascination with weapons, the AIVD said. Generally speaking, this group does not quickly resort to violence, but the risk of individuals or small groups doing so is greater than in the past, the service warned. 

In this report the AIVD spoke of right-wing extremism if "the definition of extremism is met and one or more of the following ideas are central" - xenophobia, hatred of foreign elements, and ultra-nationalism.