The Dutch counter terrorism unit NCTb has downgraded the risk of a terrorist attack in the Netherlands to ‘limited’, its first reduction in two years. According to NCTb the reduction resulted from internal divisions and lack of leadership among terrorist organizations, and a shift in focus to theatres of international conflict. The “limited” level is the second of four levels of alert in the Netherlands. It had been raised to “substantial” in March 2008 after concerns over MP Geert Wilders’ film Fitna.
According to a study released by the Dutch National Coordinator for Counterterrorism (NCTB), extreme-right youth strongly define themselves against Muslims, while fundamentalist Muslim youth barely bother with the right-radical subculture. The survey also suggests non-Muslim youth think, on average, more negatively of Muslims than the reverse.
The study was conducted by the Universities of Amsterdam and Utrecht for the NCTB, to investigate why youth radicalize. It included interviews with extreme-right and fundamentalist Muslim youth, as well as an internet survey of over 1300 13-21 year olds.
The survey notes that Muslim youth experience “symbolic threat” while extreme-right youth experience a more “concrete” danger. Neither group radicalizes because of perceived individual lack of opportunity, responding rather to feelings of injustice for their “own group”. Both groups reject terrorism but tend more strongly towards violence when they feel the system of authority is not legitimate.