Measures to combat terrorism in the Netherlands brought in since 9/11 are uncoordinated and unrelated to each other, according to a government report in the hands of Nos tv.
Surveillance cameras have been installed in many places, passengers can be searched and laws have been changed to make it easier to arrest people without charge, Nos says.
But it is still unclear who is in charge of counter-terrorism measures at a local and national level. This is because the Netherlands has never drawn up a master plan to combat terrorism and laws have been introduced on a piecemeal basis, the tv company quotes the report as saying.
Justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin and home affairs minister Gusje ter Horst said on Friday they are to set up a full evaluation of current anti-terror legislation to assess how effective measures have been so far.
And work on new anti-terror laws is to be halted pending the outcome of that investigation. That bill is currently being discussed in the upper house of parliament.
The Netherlands has never experienced a terror attack. Although the murder of film maker Theo van Gogh is widely considered a terrorist incident, no conspiracy to kill him has ever been proved.
Last month, the NRC reported that only 27 of the 113 people charged with terrorism offences in the Netherlands were convicted in court and some of them were found not guilty on appeal.
Nevertheless, the official terror threat in the Netherlands remains ‘substantial’. The presence of Dutch troops in Afghanistan and the perceived attacks on Islam in Holland mean that the country is considered a legitimate target by radical Muslim groups, Hirsch Ballin said in April.
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