Threat level remains at 4, situation convoluted

The threat situation in the Netherlands was convoluted in the past year, due partly to the threat of a complex planned attack leading to the arrest of seven individuals on 27 September. Adherents of the jihadist movement are still involved in planning attacks in the Netherlands, but so far this has not led to a specific threat. This is one of the main reasons for keeping the threat level in the Netherlands at 4 on a scale of 1 to 5. There is still a real chance that an attack could occur in the Netherlands. This is the main takeaway from the 49th Terrorist Threat Assessment Netherlands (Dreigingsbeeld Terrorisme Nederland) published by the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV).

Diffuse threat

Though the number of jihadist attacks in Europe has fallen, there have nevertheless been attacks by lone actors in the Netherlands as well as thwarted plots. Furthermore, while the capacity of ISIS in Syria and Iraq to carry out attacks has been reduced overall, ISIS and al Qa'ida networks in Syria are willing and theoretically able to mount attacks in Europe. The Dutch jihadist movement is currently in a phase of reorientation, making it uncertain how it will develop.

Political salafism

Political salafism poses a threat to Dutch national security. This branch of salafism espouses ideas that can lead to radicalisation and extremism as well as social isolation and alienation. Salafist activists spread a message of hate and intolerance towards those who uphold other ideas and beliefs, thus undermining the political and social underpinnings of the democratic legal system. The political branch of the salafist movement is actively striving for an alternative societal structure of their own that would be incompatible with the Dutch democratic legal system.

Right-wing extremism

he rise of right-wing extremism in the Netherlands has so far been most evident not in acts of violence, but in an increasingly aggressive and inflammatory internet discourse. A great deal of this movement's online and offline activity in both the Netherlands and Europe overall happens outside known organisations and through extremely fluid channels. The threat of right-wing terrorist violence in the Netherlands by a lone actor currently exceeds the threat of violence by larger groups. The General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) and the NCTV both warn of the impact that the increasing polarisation of public discourse could have on such lone actors.