Terror chief denies Verdonk’s security stop

MP Rita Verdonk, leader of the nationalist TON party, can resume her fundraising tour of the Netherlands in complete safety, the anti-terror coordination centre said on Thursday.

‘We will look properly at her security in places where there are a lot of people,’ anti-terrorism coordinator Tjibbe Joustra told news agency ANP.
On Wednesday, Verdonk went on a publicity offensive claiming that the security services had stopped providing her with personal bodyguards. Verdonk told tv chat show Knevel en Van den Brink and the Telegraaf newspaper that she had stopped her fund-raising tour of the country because security had been withdrawn.
‘It is a very strange state of affairs,’ Verdonk said. ‘There are enough incidents. The threat is far from gone.’
Joustra denied that Verdonk no longer received protection. ‘That is incorrect,’ ANP reported him as saying. ‘The security did not stop yesterday, will not stop today and will not stop on July 1.’
He said less stringent measures had been put into effect because Verdonk was no longer considered to be such a serious target. Verdonk has had a high level of personal protection since she was immigration minister.
Right-wing MPs have demanded justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin clarify the situation surrounding Verdonk. They also want answers on Verdonk’s claims that she had not been properly informed about the changes.
The anti-terrorism centre said it could not accept that Verdonk had been surprised by the wind-down in protection. Officials had been in regular contact with the MP about a decline in the threats against her, the organisation said.

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