While I do travel frequently to Amsterdam and know that Amsterdam is facing a similar kind of home grown terror as that of the UK, I did not realise the breadth and depth of this issue that the Dutch are facing. Just like British Muslims have been found committing suicide bombing in Palestine, Dutch Moroccan Muslims have been found in Kashmir. In 2002, 2 Dutch Muslims were killed in Kashmir, India. In 2003, two Dutch Muslims were caught by the Ukrainian police trying to go fight in Chechnya. The Dutch police interrogated these two and let them go. As it so happens, one of these chaps, Samir Azzouz, became the biggest Muslim fundamentalist in Netherlands. Links with Hamas show up since then and the Hofstad Group of militant jihadists was formed. Mohammed Bouyeri joined the group who would later find infamy as the murderer of Theo van Gogh. Actually murder is a polite term, Mohammad shot and ritually butchered Theo van Gogh.
I quote, "Officials estimate that the group had more than fifty members and that at least a few hundred radical Islamists are now living in the Netherlands. Moreover, as of April 2006, the AIVD estimates that between ten and twenty jihadist networks are active in the Netherlands, most of them autonomous local networks similar to the Hofstad group."
So the situation is indeed tense and significant in Netherlands. Looking at the diffuse nature of the jihadi's in Netherlands, attacks such as the Glasgow attacks are quite possible, but nobody can stop the Bouyeri attack, a lone ranger type of attack, a fanatic jihadi, armed with a kitchen knife and butchering an unarmed man, woman or child in a street. And it is indeed quite possible.
I would finally like to draw attention to the concluding 2 paragraphs of this report. The murder and ritual butchery of Theo van Gogh was the defining 9/11 moment for Netherlands. I quote, "This self-perpetuating spiral of distrust and hatred became apparent in the Netherlands after Theo van Gogh's assassination. Prosecutors in the Bouyeri trial declared that the group's aim was to "drive a wedge between different segments of Dutch society," and some events indicate that the group achieved partial success. Forty percent of Dutch interviewed in the immediate aftermath of the murder said they hoped that Muslims "no longer felt at home" in the Netherlands. A number of mosques and Islamic schools across the country were vandalized or firebombed; in response, churches were also damaged, triggering a rise in attacks and counterattacks that shocked what had traditionally been considered one of Europe's most tolerant societies. Applying pressure to the weak spot in an already fragile social environment, the killing significantly exacerbated the tensions already present in the country."
There is structural danger in Netherlands, just like we are seeing in the United Kingdom, United States of America and in other countries, and depressingly, I cannot see that the governments or civil society are able to address this issue.
All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!
TY - JOUR
JO - Studies in Conflict & Terrorism
PB - Taylor & Francis
AU - Vidino, Lorenzo
TI - The Hofstad Group: The New Face of Terrorist Networks in Europe
SN - 1057-610X
PY - 2007
VL - 30
IS - 7
SP - 579
EP - 592
AB - Between 2003 and 2006, members of the so-called Hofstad group planned various terrorist attacks inside the Netherlands, including the assassination of controversial filmmaker Theo van Gogh. Amateurish in its modus operandi and composed mostly of second-generation Muslim immigrants, Hofstad perfectly exemplifies the new terrorist networks that are growing in most European countries. Its perception of Europe as a battlefield of jihad, no less critical than Iraq or Afghanistan, signifies the break from the networks that operated in the continent in the 1990s. Its amorphous structure and lack of ties with international networks make Hofstad the quintessential example of the homegrown terrorism that is worrying European intelligence agencies.
UR - http://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/10576100701385933