Counterterrorism office warns young people are radicalized for the far-right online
The National Counterterrorism Coordinator (NCTV) said more action needs to be taken to prevent teenagers from being radicalized for the far-right online.
NCTV estimated there are a couple hundred people between the ages of 12 to 20 years old who spend a considerable amount of time on far-right websites where far-right extremists from across the world share their ideology and encourage users to commit acts of terrorism. "They want to create chaos in society through which a white Nazi ethnostate can replace the current political system," NCTV wrote.
"There are hundreds of young people active on the internet in different locations and not everything they share is forbidden. That makes it difficult for services to keep in check," terrorism expert Jelle van Buuren told NOS.
NCTV said awareness needs to be raised about the radicalization of young people through the far-right in schools and among parents. "Once young people are in the picture of intelligence services is already too late. You want to prevent them from becoming terror suspects at the age of 16," Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg from NCTV said.
Often the young people come in contact with far-right-wing ideology online, particularly on Telegram and in some online gaming chat rooms. "Young people spend a lot of time online, thus, we also need to be there," youth worker Sandra van Eck told NOS. "That could be on Whatsapp, but also through online gaming."
The youth workers can intervene earlier than police, who can only infiltrate chat rooms once there is suspicion of criminal activity. The social workers can then provide early help to the teenagers who, according to NCTV, often deal with psychosocial problems and do not have a robust social network.