The security service AIVD on Tuesday warned companies, local government and other institutions to be aware of espionage, arguing that there are many foreign spies active in the Netherlands.
‘The Netherlands is an interesting target for many countries because of its high-value technological industry and the presence of large groups of migrants,’ the AIVD said at the presentation of its 2008 report.
Morocco had attempted to build up a network of informers and Russia is also active in the Netherlands, the AIVD said. And China has not only tried to influence political decisions but has also attempted to access government and company computer networks, the organisation claims.
The Netherlands is particularly interesting to countries which want to develop weapons of mass destruction, the AIVD says. ‘Much of the high-value Dutch technology can be used. That is why it is important that companies and academic institutes are aware of the risks.’
The AIVD carried out 1303 investigations last year, compared with 819 in 2007. A number of the reports led to arrests and deportations, the AIVD said, without giving concrete figures.
Meanwhile, the Volkskrant reports that a growing number of European nationals have had military training in the Pakistan Afghanistan border areas. It is not known if any Dutch nationals have actually gone to training camps but ‘a number of Dutch nationals and people from the Netherlands have gone to the border region,’ the paper quoted the AIVD as saying.
The Netherlands is still considered a ‘preference target’ by internationally-operating networks, AIVD head Gerard Bouman told the paper.
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