A military defeat of the Daesh in Syria and Iraq would cause the return of many Dutch jihadists back to the Netherlands which can pose a real threat to the country's security, the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice's National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism said in a report on Monday.
The report shows that as of November 1, 2016 there have been a total of around 270 jihadist travelers since 2012, 44 of them were killed and around 40 have returned back home to the Netherlands but as joining the Jihad in Syria and Iraq became more difficult, there is an increasing risk that the the jihad movement will turn its focus to the country of the Netherlands itself.
However despite the current threat level of a possible terrorist attack in Netherlands remaining at 4 on a scale from 1 to 5, there are no specific indicators that an attack is being prepared, the report said.
"If the ISIS [Daesh] 'caliphate' is defeated militarily or collapses, the number of returnees is expected to rise. An increasing number of returnees will probably strengthen the domestic jihadist movement in the Netherlands and thus magnify the threat it poses," the report said.
According to the report, the Dutch jihadist movement, which consist of several hundred actual members and a few thousand sympathizers, have adherents in the Netherlands, Syria and Iraq, as well as in other countries. Dutch jihadists may act as attackers, facilitators or accomplices within the ranks of international terrorist networks, such as the Daesh, al-Qaeda and others, the report said.
"Jihadists living in the Netherlands could respond to the repeated calls by ISIS and al-Qaeda to commit terrorist violence in one's own country," the report added.
Severe political polarization may pose another threat to the Dutch security as political division between far right and far left parties on controversial issues such as Islam, immigrants, integration and EU-Turkey relations could also create the basis for possible acts of violence by a lone individual, according to the report.-
Source: National News Agency