The availability of beds in intensive care units at Dutch hospitals fell further on Friday, with 873 placements in ICUs now occupied by Covid-19 patients. There was an increase of about 15.5 percent from Thursday's total, with 118 more patients admitted into an ICU in the 24-hour period.
Security services in the Netherlands have been warning about the dangers of a pandemic like the coronavirus since 2016. In reports by the national coordinator for counterterrorism and security NCTV, the security services warned that the Netherlands does not have enough ICU beds, among other things, NRC reports based on its own research. It seems little was done with this advice.
The Ministerial Crisis Management Committee will be meeting again on Monday evening to discuss whether any further measures need to be taken around coronavirus Covid-19. After that the safety offices of at least 25 different regions will meet in Utrecht to discuss municipal and regional measures, NOS reports.
A suspicious letter was found in Maastricht on Wednesday, after two mail bombs exploded in Amsterdam and Kerkrade earlier in the day. There was no explosion in Maastricht, the Limburg police said on Twitter. Minister Sander Dekker for Legal Protection called the blasts "worrying". "As far as we can see now, there are no victims, no injuries. So that's great," he said to De Limburger. "For the rest, the police must investigate."
Maastricht University paid between 200 thousand and 300 thousand euros to hackers who had blocked access to the university's digital systems with ransomware, various people involved told the Volkskrant. The university board was forced to pay because the university's backups were also hijacked. The backups - stored on the university servers - contain research data and data from students and staff from the past decades.
Multiple Dutch right-wing extremists were active for years on an international, fascist web forum that is linked to a violent neo-Nazi group and a number of murders in the United States, AD reports based on countless messages posted on the closed forum Iron March which hackers released late last year. The Dutch AD identified tried to set up a new organization in the Netherlands, and raged against gay people, Jews and Muslims.
A report by the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV) has revised the country's threat level assessment down to level 3 from level 4. The threat of a terrorist attack in the Netherlands is assessed on a five-point scale, with threat level 5 being the most severe and imminent.
At least eight Dutch people fought in the civil war in Ukraine, both on the Ukrainian side and on the pro-Russian side, according to a report by American research agency The Soufan Center on the rise of violent right-wing extremism worldwide, AD reports.
The report calls the Ukrainian civil war a "laboratory" for the international right-wing extremist movement. "For them, Ukraine is what Syria is for jihadists", the report states. "White supremacists are forming worldwide networks, just like the jihadists did before the September 11 attacks in America."
After the murder of defense lawyer Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam last week, extra security measures were taken for dozens of people. These include judges and prosecutors involved in the case against Ridouan Taghi or related cases, sources told NOS.
The Public Prosecution Service will keep using key witnesses, even after the murder of criminal law attorney Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam on Wednesday morning. "We must continue to use the means of key witnesses, otherwise we will get no further in criminal cases. Continue in a motivated way", prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said to Nieuwsuur. He wants more options in the use of such suspects-turned-informants.
Authorities investigating the murder of criminal defense attorney Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam have joined forces with Dutch counter-terrorism agency NCTV in the hunt for the perpetrator. Police are still searching for the suspect they believe to be responsible for the crime.
Intelligence and security service AIVD underestimated the social impact its official report earlier this year on Amsterdam Islamic high school Cornelius Haga Lyceum would have, AIVD director Dick Schoof said to the Volkskrant. The service warned Amsterdam that the school wanted to devote half of its curriculum to Salafist doctrine, causing an uproar.
For over three hours on Monday, emergency number 1-1-2 was unreachable due to an outage at telecom company KPN. The cause of the outage is still under investigation, but it was definitely not a hack, according to Joost Farwerck of the KPN Board of Management. Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security summoned the company for an explanation on Tuesday, NOS reports.
There is a very real concern in the Netherlands regarding potential terror attacks, particularly from ISIS recruits and jihadists, right-wing extremists, and radical activists, according to Dutch counter-terror office NCTV. Because of this, the terror threat level in the country remains high, with holding at 4 out of a maximum of 5 in the terrorism threat assessment published by the NCTV on Monday.
The Dutch police are concerned about an increasingly popular development in cybercrime, which the police refer to as cybercrime-as-service. Criminals can now buy cyber attacks easily, cheaply and at any time of day or night, the police said in a statement.
The national coordinator for counter-terrorism and security NCTV expressed concerns about the fact that almost all of the Netherlands' vital processes and systems have been digitized, and that there are virtually no fall-back options. This makes the Netherlands insufficiently resilient and therefore vulnerable to digital attacks, the NCTV said on Wednesday, NU.nl reports.
The government is investing 3.5 million euros into counter-terrorism measures at six train stations in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht, among others, the Telegraaf reported on Tuesday. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management would not say exactly which train stations are involved, according to the newspaper.
Action group Kick Out Zwarte Piet filed a complaint for being listed as a terrorist group in the Netherlands' Terrorism Threat Assessment for the year 2017. But according to the national coordinator for counter-terrorism and security NCTV, this is a "misunderstanding" and the group is not seen as a terrorist organization, NU.nl reports.
Almost a third of the controversial Amsterdam secondary school Cornelius Haga Lyceum's budget for 2018 went to the school's director Soner Atasoy and two of his family members who also work at the school, NRC reports based on a confidential report from the general intelligence and security service AIVD.
The controversial British Sharia preacher Haitham Al Haddad gave "covert" lessons at the Cornelius Haga Lyceum in Amsterdam, newspaper NRC reported on Friday based on a confidential official message that intelligence service AIVD sent to mayor Femke Halsema of Amsterdam in January.
The message also says that other radical Islamic people were also involved in the school and that the school management funded a Chechen terrorist movement, according to the newspaper.
The tram doors wouldn't immediately open after a man opened fire on a tram on 24 Oktoberplein in Utrecht at around 10:45 a.m. on Monday morning, according to one witness. Multiple people were injured. Journalists at the scene report seeing a body covered by a sheet, according to NOS. Though the authorities have not yet confirmed whether anyone was killed.
The Dutch authorities are looking for one suspect following a possible terrorist attack in Utrecht on Monday morning, Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, head of the national coordinator for counterterrorism and security NCTV, said in a press conference on Monday afternoon. He added that it can not be ruled out that more people were involved.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is very worried by a possible terrorist attack in Utrecht on Monday morning. "Very disturbing news', he said to NOS as he was heading back to his office to meet with a crisis team that has been gathered. The national coordinator for counter terrorism and security NCTV increased the threat level for the province of Utrecht to 5, the highest threat level, until at least 6:00 p.m.
A group of Islamic organizations issued a joint call on the board of Cornelius Haga Lyceum to resign. The want the administrators to take responsibility for the controversy that arose around the Amsterdam secondary school last week, AD reports.