The AIVD, the General Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands issued a report warning of Dutch jihadists are “swarming” to Syria to participate in the effort to establish a Islamic state in that country.
The following is AIVD assessment of the Jihadist situation in the Netherlands:
“The number of Dutch jihadists travelling to Syria to join the conflict there has increased substantially since late 2012. About 130 have left so far, almost thirty have already returned and fourteen have been killed in the fighting.
The AIVD counts several hundred people in the Netherlands as supporters of this exodus, including a number who are prepared to make the journey but have yet to do so. They are maintaining a constant stream of propaganda in support of the jihadist ideology and so contributing to wider radicalization. Several thousand people support the cause.
The AIVD believes that fighters returning from Syria pose a potential risk. They have witnessed acts of extreme violence, or even take part themselves. They may also be traumatized. It is not inconceivable that international jihadist organizations are sending returnees back to Europe with orders to carry out terrorist attacks here.”
The AIVD is recognized as one the “best spy services in the world.”
The AVID focuses mostly on domestic non-military threats to Dutch national security, whereas the Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) focuses on international threats, specifically military and government-sponsored threats such as espionage. The AIVD, unlike its predecessor BVD, is charged with collecting intelligence and assisting in combating both domestic and foreign threats to national security.
The AVID is a “secret service” on the internet – that may sound like a contradiction in terms, but it isn’t. The AIVD is not nearly as secretive as its predecessor, the BVD. In fact, the service tries to be as open as it can. For example, the annual report it publishes on its work and areas of interest is more detailed every year.
In some ways, though, the AIVD has to remain secret.
Its main activities include:
- monitoring specific groups, such as leftist activists, Islamic groups, and right-wing extremists
- sourcing intelligence to and from foreign and domestic intelligence services
- performing background checks on individuals employed in “positions of trust”, specifically public office, and higher-up or privileged positions in industry (such as telecommunications, banks, the largest companies) – this ironically includes members of parliamentary oversight committees
- investigating incidents such as (terrorist) bombings and threats
- giving advice and warning about risks to national security, including advising on the protection of political figureheads
This unit is responsible for protecting the democratic legal order, for state security and for promoting security measures. This means managing the risks associated with counterterrorism, radicalisation, counterintelligence, political extremism, animal-rights extremism and security promotion.
The Service Centre is responsible for all generic standard services within the AIVD. These include personnel and financial information, human resources, records and archives, procurement, premises, internal security, transport, catering and office supplies.
This unit supplies manages permanent ICT facilities and services as required by the organization.
This is an offensive intelligence unit, which contributes to the formulation of foreign policy by producing relevant reports. It operates in accordance with the Foreign Intelligence Guidelines.
Knowledge Centre for Development and Innovation
This unit contributes to the AIVD’s development as an outstanding organization by:
- Identifying and promoting opportunities for improvement and innovation
- Advising on the potential for improvement and innovation
- Overseeing improvement and change processes
- Support “process owners” in optimizing those processes
Operational Expertise and Support
This unit performs and supports the implementation of a wide range of intelligence resources for other teams and departments, provides training and is responsible for operational relationship management.
This unit promotes greater internal cohesion and better co-operation in order to improve the results of the intelligence process.
Strategy and Policy
This unit ensures that the AIVD management team receives sound advice and support in determining the organization’s direction (through frameworks and policy), in guiding and managing all its primary processes (though control) and in representing the service.
Trend Analysis and Research
This unit identifies, highlights, analyses and explains phenomena within the AIVD’s areas of interest which are beyond the scope of any one team or unit. The knowledge and insights thus gained are passed on to other interested parties, both internal and external, in a variety of forms.
National Communications Security Agency
The National Communications Security Agency (NBV) safeguards the security of critical information for which the government is responsible. As a partner and guide to the government, it thus plays an active and visible role in national security. It possesses unique skills in the field of information security.
Responsible for an effective process of clearing candidates for positions involving confidentiality, this unit conducts security screenings in an authoritative manner.