Terror alert level raised to 'substantial' in Netherlands

Wednesday 13 March 2013 16.21
Dutch police have deployed extra personnel in response to the new terror alert status
Dutch police have deployed extra personnel in response to the new terror alert status

The Netherlands has raised its alert level for terrorist attacks to "substantial".

It cited an increase in the number of Islamist militants travelling from the Netherlands to Syria, as well as a radicalisation of Dutch youth.

"The chance of an attack in the Netherlands or against Dutch interests abroad has risen," the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism said.

"Close to 100 individuals have recently left the Netherlands for various countries in Africa and the Middle East, especially Syria."

The agency said individuals fighting for radical Islam abroad could return and "inspire others in the Netherlands to follow in their footsteps".

Political changes in the Middle East and North Africa have made space for an expansion of radical Islamic groups that are no longer under the control of security forces, the agency said.

Dutch police and intelligence services have deployed extra personnel to investigate suspect individuals and monitor sources, it said.