"Combat terror – with prevention and a tough approach"

29 March 2016

"Combat terror – with prevention and a tough approach"

Foto: SP

SP leader Emile Roemer spoke in today’s debate with the government of the fate of the victims of the attacks in Brussels. "Our neighbours have been hit," he said. "A blow has been struck against our friends. They are in mourning and with them, we remember." In the debate Roemer pointed once more to the still poor cooperation between security services in Europe and to the need for additional measures to prevent radicalisation in the neighbourhoods. "The threat of an attack will never be wholly removed," he noted. "But we can certainly do more. To defend our constitutional state and our democracy against those who threaten our freedom. Do more – with prevention and a hard approach."

In Roemer's view the government must move rapidly to improve cooperation between security services. "What does it say about international cooperation between services that so many months after the Paris attacks members of the network are still roaming free?" he asked. "The likely terrorists are known to the police and the security services. And they came out of a known network."

The SP wants to see more done to prevent radicalisation. The police unions complain of massive shortages of officers, and 5,000 more are planned to disappear, at a time when their efforts are badly needed. "Neighbourhood police officers are their eyes and ears," says Roemer. "They know the young people, know their families and other workers such as those in the youth service, which is also being subject to huge cuts."

Jihadists who return to the Netherlands, the SP leader argues, should be compulsorily deradicalised. "Many terrorists were born here in Europe, but have had their training in the Middle East, primarily in Syria. And we must ensure that people who return here pose no danger. We have for that reason proposed that people who return are obliged to enter a programme of deradicalisation, in order to see whether they can return to society and if so under what conditions. But always individual case-by-case and after being examined by the courts. You don't protect our constitutional state by demolishing it."

Roemer concluded his observations during the debate by pointing to the impact of Western intervention policies in the Middle East. "Former President Bush legitimised his illegal war in Iraq as a 'war on terror'. We know now that that war, far from reducing the threat, made it greater. The number of terrorists that are fighting for groups such as ISIS and Al Qaida has grown and their worldview has grown in support."

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