Violent Jihad in the Netherlands: Current Trends in the Islamist Terrorist Threat
In this paper the perception of Al-Qaeda as a strategic mastermind controlling jihadist networks and plotting attacks worldwide is put into perspective. It happens frequently that decentralised networks act on their own initiative, often spurred on by local circumstances. At present the most serious threat to the Netherlands appears to emanate from these local jihadist networks rooted in their own breeding ground. National government bodies and local authorities should adapt their policies accordingly. The principles of a broad approach focused on failing integration, radicalism, recruitment and terrorism as interlinked elements of the aforementioned phenomenon – as set out in the paper From Dawa to Jihad – remain the guiding principles for this policy. It has led to a broad, wide-ranging approach to counter- terrorism in the Netherlands, in which various government bodies are involved. Their efforts focus on both measures to prevent radicalisation and on repression of terrorist networks and individuals. At national level, the National Co-ordinator for Counter- terrorism plays an initiating and co-ordinating role with respect to these efforts. At local level, several major city councils have now begun to implement this broad approach.