Intelligence experts observed that the Islamic State militants are planning to attack again on Europe as the extremists’ group has around 60-80 operatives planted in entire Europe to carry out attacks, Said Dutch Counterterrorism coordinator on Friday. Dick Schoof said in an interview with The Associated Press that would be fighters are also a heeding message from the militant group asking them not to come to Syria and Iraq, but to prepare attacks in Europe.
Military operations spreading IS militants’ groups and supporters
He said, although over the last six months the number of foreign terrorist fighters has not grown because they are not traveling, however, it doesn’t mean that the potential threat of those who would have traveled is reduced.” Schoof said military operations to expel the Islamic State from its self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq are spreading the extremist group’s fighters and supporters.
And the efforts of the military probably lead to a gradual increase of refugees that will cause a danger to the national security of the Netherlands and other European countries, said Schoof. He further told thought Netherlands have not been hit by a major attack by IS militants such as those in Belgium and France, but the chance of an attack in the Netherlands in true.
Strong togetherness of local and national authorities can help Netherlands to fight with terrorism
Schoof said “we have seen 294 terrorist fighters go overseas in Iraq and Syria and there are still 190 over there. And, what happened in France and Brussels and Germany could happen with us.” At least four thousand to five thousand European foreign terrorist fighters in Iraq and Syria he said.
Schoof said that strong cooperation amid local and national authorities can assist Netherlands’ program to deal with threat balances repression and prevention. On the repression side, he said, fighters returning from Syria or Iraq are taken into the custody, and courts have recently sent them behind the bars for six-year in several cases. The government also takes way their passport, freezes assets and has beefed up security measures and the police force, he said.
He said, on the prevention side, there are a lot of family support, with local authorities deciding the best interventions and providing education and psychological help if needed, but there also could be arrests.
Netherlands is concerned about the development of a conservative strain of Islam
Jazias van Aartsen, the mayor of The Hague, said it is important for us to build healthy relation with the Muslim community is very important. “They are Dutch citizens,” he said. “There are some in the Netherlands who say shut down mosques which are absolutely wrong policy. But Van Aartsen said there is a need for vigilance. “The apparatus of local government can be very important as a watchdog against radicalization,” he said. Schoof emphasized that the Netherlands does not tolerate anti-democratic behavior”
We often try to prevent hate preachers coming in by not giving them a visa, “he said. The government is also concerned about the development of an ultraconservative strain of Islam known as Salafism, he said.
Schoof said last week, the federation of Mosques, without any urging, sent a letter to all mosques in the country saying “ “the mosques themselves must realize that hate speech should not be accepted in the mosques.” “Those are important signals that you can build on in your trust relationships,” he said.