Netherlands evaluates terror risk during elections

In advance of June 9 national elections Erik Akkerboom, the governments counter terrorism adviser, has reported that the risk of a terrorist attack in the country remains limited though there is a small potential for election based violence. News agencies have reported on Akerboom’s comments from a variety of perspectives.

Dutch News summarizes Akkerboom’s comments as an assurance that the terrorism attack in the country remains limited, quoting his comments to the Volkskrant that “there are ‘no concrete indications that anything will happen”.

On the other hand, Radio Netherlands Worldwide publishes an overview of Akkerboom’s “threat analysis” emphasizing that the Netherlands faces increased risk of internal political violence due to politicized debate over Islam in the country.

Earth Times, meanwhile, reported rather that the Netherlands “fears possible terrorist attacks before elections”. The claim is based on comments from Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin, who cites Akerboom’s reports in stating that “the current debate about Islam in the country and the number of Muslim immigrants made the possibility of ‘politically motivated attacks’ more likely”.

Dutch Hofstadt group faces retrial for terror charges

The Netherlands’ high court ruled Tuesday that a case against seven alleged terrorists will be heard for a second time. The court ruled that a 2008 not guilty verdict for the seven men accused of being members of a terrorist organization was incorrectly based on overly strict definitions of the “existence and nature of a criminal organization”.

The so-called “Hofstadt group” is named after a common moniker for the Hague, the city in which it was based. Mohammed B., who murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004, is the group’s most well known member.