The National Anti-Terrorism Coordinator in The Netherlands has published its semi-annual report on terrorist threat, noting that there are “thousands” of ISIS-supporters in the country (on a population of 17 million). They are preaching orthodox islam and violent jihad in the streets and online.
The threat of jihadist violence is considered just a big as it was last year. While the (MSM) article notes the number of ISIS-inspired terror attacks in Europe has been lower this year than in 2017, the number of terror attacks, suspected attacks and attempted attacks in The Netherlands itself is in fact higher in 2018 (two attempts in 2017 versus two succesful attacks, at least one attempt, and one bomb threat in 2018, plus the odd number of “confused men” wielding knives).
The report mentions that the jihadist scene in The Netherlands was virtually dead in 2010, but now there is a lot of “movement”.
The Dutch Anti-Terrorism Coordinator that there are jihadi’s in prison who will be released over the coming years, including some hardened and charismatic figures who cause another surge. The report warns against naiveté about the suggested retrieval of “Caliphate children” and ISIS brides: there are indications that ISIS has been training young children to carry out terror attacks in Europe, and their mothers often tell the authorities that they are victims who were forced by their husbands to go to ISIS territory while most of them made the coice to go and still actively support jihadism.
Jihadists still dangerous after jail-time
Also this week, thinktank Globsec, has come to the epiphenous conclusion that jihadists who are set to be released from prison still pose a threat against the west. They must be exceptionally pleased with themselves for coming up with this piece of intelligence that literally nobody else ever thought of in the west (except perhaps all those pesky right-wingers who have been pushed out of political discourse and whose advice the establishment will never heed anyway).
2015 marked the start of large-scale arrests of jihadi’s in Europe. On average, they received jail sentences of eight years and seven months (some governments are even actively retrieving ISIS fighters to let them get away that easily, helping them escape the death penalty in Iraq or Syria).
Globsec notes that jihadists are not only not deradicalizing in our prisons, they are in fact radicalizing even further. It is well-established that prisons are great breeding grounds for jihadism. ISIS propaganda is deliberately aimed at fusing (violent) crime and jihad together, hoping to recruit followers who are easily persuaded into carrying out violent attacks.
While ISIS has lost almost all of its territory in Iraq and Syria, a UN report published last month stated that the movement is regrouping underground. At the impending defeat of ISIS, many have warned that its fighters would return to Europe and continue their fight there. An estimate from last year was that ISIS had sent around 173 potential suicide bombers to Europe. Belgium has 19,000 registered terror suspects, Germany has linked thousands of recent immigrants to the Taliban and British intelligence services are aware of 23,000 jihadists living in Britain.
Jihadist networks have short lines of communication, across borders. Terror cells in different countries can inspire each other, and new followers across the west. France is set to release 115 jihadi’s in the coming years and the UK 80. Belgium has already released several dozens and will release 28 more this year.