Netherlands' terrorism threat level unchanged despite Amsterdam attack

Ambulance racing down the Damrak after leaving the scene of a stabbing and police shooting at Amsterdam CS, 31 Aug 2018
Ambulance racing down the Damrak after leaving the scene of a stabbing and police shooting at Amsterdam CS, 31 Aug 2018. (Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times )

Although the jihadist threat changed over he past months, the threat in the Netherlands remains substantial at 4 on a scale of 5, the national coordinator for counter terrorism and security NCTV said on Monday. That means that there is a real probability of an attack in the Netherlands, but there are no concrete indications that one is being planned, ANP reports.

While the number of terrorist attacks in Europe declined sharply over the past year, the illustrates that the threat is still present, the NCTV said. Late last month 19-year-old Afghan stabbed two American tourists at the station. He , according to statements he made to the police. 

The Netherlands' national threat level is not decreasing despite the declining number of attacks in Europe, because international jihadist networks also operate in the Netherlands with the intention of planning attacks, the NCTV said. 

The Dutch jihadist movement, which grew significantly in the years between 2013 and 2016, may also pose a threat. According to the NCTV, this group may be susceptible to 'revenge' plans, blaming the caliphate of Western countries for the fall of the ISIS caliphate in Syria. 

The NCTV also expressed concern about the influence of Salafism in the Netherlands. Salafism has been growing in the Netherlands for years. The ultra orthodox branch of Islam promotes intolerance and anti-democratic ideals and among the Salafists are people known to praise terrorist violence, usually concealed in religious terms, according to the NCTV.

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