Head of Dutch intelligence: terrorism more and more a national product

The Dutch security service, the Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (General Intelligence and Security service, AIVD) today published a 69-page report on trends in the muslim threat, entitled: ‘De gewelddadige jihad in Nederland, actuele trends in de islamistisch-terroristische dreiging’ (PDF, NL), The title translates to: Violent jihad in the Netherlands, current trends in the islamic-terrorist threat.

According to the press-statement (NL) which I am here using as a convenient summary of the report, the AIVD concludes in the report that
the jihadist threat is increasingly a national product and not imported from outside. The most important cause, according to the AIVD, is the increasing recruitement and radicalization of young muslims born and bred in the Netherlands. Internet plays an increasingly important role in this proces. In the report the AIVD decribes which factors can play a role in teh proces of radicalization and the eventual readiness to use violence.

Additionally, the AIVD staes that international developments, like the war in Iraq, play a motivating role in both recruitement activities and the actual committing of acts of terror. The service questions whether there is any real guidance from Al Qaeda. Instead it thinks Al Qaeda has become more of a brand name and form of inspiration. Many networks try to create their own forms of violent jihad, mostly without guidance or support from outside.
The AIVD report says that the locally developing jihadist networks (the AIVD estimates there to be around 10 or 20, comprising 'several hundreds' of individuals that must be considered high risk for their capacity to disrupt society 'not just through perpetrating, threatening of inciting acts of violence, but also through their radicalization of others') are extremely fluid and mostly strictly nationally oriented and entirely self-sufficient. However, a large number of these local networks are 'embedded' in international networks and have international elements (North-African, Kurdish, Pakistani and Bosnian(!)) recruiting for and guiding these networks.

The AIVD warns that these networks are becoming more and more fluid and therefor difficult to track. The service thinks that through the use of internet a transnational pool of willing jihadists will arise that will act in ever changing compositions. Hence, the international influence in Dutch jihadist networks is expected to increase.

One of the more curious developments in the Netherlands is the increasing number of young muslimas taking the part in these networks. The AIVD cannot explain this, apparently Dutch-only, development, but is warning that a lot of these young women are (on the verge of becoming) a significant part of the threat.

The AIVD noted that despite the recent discussions in the Netherlands of the role of mosques in recruiting and incitement to jihad, the current trend is a form of bottom-up radicalisation through the use of internet. Also of note is the popularity among Dutch muslims for the Takfir Wal Hijra ideology, even more extreme then the Salafi ideology in their quest for 'pure Islam'.

On a cheery note the head of the AIVD noted that since the murder of Theo van Gogh the threat of terrorism has not increased(!). Well, that is good news, don't you think?

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