The police are to be given extra powers in several parts of the Netherlands because of their vulnerability to terrorist attacks, the cabinet announced today.
The special powers will give the police the right to stop and search people, cars and objects. This will enable the police to intervene immediately if there are indications a terrorist attack is being planned, the cabinet said.
Busy transport hubs such as the main railway stations in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht fall under the new powers, as do all civilian airports. The police have had a right to carry out stop and search operations at Schiphol since 2005. The Binnenhof parliamentary complex (pictured) in The Hague, the Borsele nuclear power plant and the media park in Hilversum where the main broadcasters are based will also fall under the special ruling.
Meanwhile, the risk of a terrorist attack in the Netherlands remains ‘substantial’ because of ongoing radicalisation within parts of society and ‘a number of risky international developments’ said justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin.
The Netherlands has uncovered several so-called terrorist cells and a number of people are serving jail terms for terrorist offences. But there have been no terrorist attacks in the Netherlands.
The country has already ammended anti-terrorist legislation to make it easier to convict people planning terrorist attacks. Last month four people were found guilty of planning to attack a number of political targets.
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