The attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, in which at least 12 people were killed, has had an impact on everyone, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said on Wednesday.
‘This terrible and cowardly terrorist attack affects us all,’ Rutte said. ‘The Netherlands stands shoulder to shoulder with France. Our thoughts go first of all to everyone who has been affected by this terrible event.’
Rutte also expressed his sympathy to French president Francois Hollande and pledged Dutch support.
Deputy prime minister Lodewijk Asscher described the attack as a ‘barbaric’ spilling of blood. ‘It is more than an criminal attack on journalists. It is criminal attack on the freedom and security which our democratic society stands for,’ broadcaster Nos quoted him as saying.
Dutch king Willem-Alexander also expressed his deep shock at the killing and sent his sympathy and condolences to Hollande, RTL news reported.
The chief of the Dutch counter-terrorism unit NCTV said the attack confirmed the threat potential which the Netherlands also has to contend with.
‘This underlines the importance of remaining alert,’ said Dick Schoof. ‘As yet there is no reason to change the threat level in the Netherlands but it remains substantial for a reason.’
According to the Telegraaf, Dutch cartoonist Bernard ‘Willem’ Holtrop, should have been at the editorial meeting where the terrorists struck. Holtrop, who has worked for the magazine since 1969, was still on the train to Paris when the attack took place.
He described the shooting in the Telegraaf as an ‘attack on the press’ and said he could not think of another event in which an entire editorial team had been wiped out. ‘It has become a very dangerous profession,’ he said.
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