Anti-institutional extremism is on the rise in the Netherlands thanks to a cohort of groups which believe the Netherlands is being ruled by an ‘evil elite’ which is the enemy of the people, Dutch domestic security group AIVD said on Monday.
This message has had new life blown into it post coronavirus and is currently the most popular extremist narrative in the Netherlands, the AIVD said. ‘The central tenet of anti-institutional extremism forms a serious long term threat against the country,’ the agency says in its 2022 annual report.
The AIVD labels anti-institutional extremism as dangerous for two reasons. Firstly, there is a risk people who believe in the theories will end up committing and condoning violence. And on the other hand, conspiracy theories contribute to a lack of confidence in politicians, the legal system and the media.
In particular the AIVD warned about supporters of conspiracy theories who want to create a parallel society, with its own currency and its own legal system – as mooted by the far right Forum voor Democratie.
Nevertheless, global jihadist movements remain the biggest terrorism threat against the Netherlands, even though there has been no increase in the risk posed by domestic jihadist groups. ‘These threats come mainly from networks run by ISIS from Afghanistan,’ the AIVD said.
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