Far-right extremism is a growing issue worldwide, including in the Netherlands, the Dutch security service AIVD says in its annual report.
‘International developments are increasingly difficult to predict and to manage,’ the AIVD said. ‘This makes the threats against Dutch society more diverse and complex.’
2019 was ‘the year of attacks by far-right extremists worldwide’, the AIVD said, citing the deadly March attack on a mosque in New Zealand, which was praised by others who attacked targets in Oslo and Halle in Germany.
This copycat behaviour is being strengthened by extremist websites and internet forums, which can radicalise others who then may turn to violence, the AIVD said.
‘One example of an organisation which uses democratic means to achieve undemocratic aims is Erkenbrand,’ the AIVD said. ‘This Dutch alt-right movement aims to realise an authoritarian political system which only guarantees the rights of the white citizen.’
More traditional right-wing extremists continue to react strongly to anti-racism campaigners which, the AIVD said, has led to various threats of violence and the publication of the home addresses of known activists.
By contrast, the ‘acute threat’ posed by IS in Europe has weakened, even though underground cells remain. At the same time, radical salafists have a disproportionately large influence within the Dutch Muslim community, the agency said.
Last year, at least seven people were arrested on suspicion of planning Islamic terrorist attacks or incitement to violence in the Netherlands, including a 15-year-old boy who spread jihadist material on the internet. All the cases still have to come to court.
In addition, foreign country interference in other countries, including the Netherlands, remains a key concern, the AIVD said. This interference focuses on espionage and infiltration designed to gather political and economic information, the agency said.
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