Council of Minister, Netherlands
Increased attention to the fight against terrorism
Action Plan that contains a considerable package of measures with which the government wishes to step up the fight against terrorism. It concerns both the reinforcement of existing policy and new emphasis and priorities. The initiatives focus on prevention as well as expeditious investigation and successful prosecution of terrorist crimes.
According to an initial estimate, the measures would involve a sum of 150 to 200 million guilders. Over the next weeks, a more detailed outline of the budgetary consequences will be drawn up.
The basis of the action plan concerns measures to prevent acts of terrorism. It concerns, first of all, preventive measures such as the improvement of the information position of police and intelligence and security services, and more capacity for the protection and security of vulnerable persons and objects. In order to deal effectively with the new types of terrorism, the intelligence and security services are provided with extra resources.
Funds will also be made available to increase the opportunities of biometry. The use of physical characteristics is a valuable instrument in the identification of persons. It makes it easier to monitor terrorists and patrons and to unravel networks.
From the point of view of prevention, the Netherlands wishes to stress, at a European level, the importance of an improved visa policy and centralising the availability of information on visas issued within the Union.In addition, the Royal Netherlands Military Constabulary is expanded in order to intensify the external border controls and to strengthen the Mobile Border Supervision of Aliens.
The measures taken after the attacks in the US to increase security of civil aviation are extended. For example, by increased supervision and additional gate controls by the Royal Netherlands Military Constabulary.
Internationally, the Netherlands argues for the introduction of 100% control of all hold baggage and improved security of the cockpit.
The government will also take measures to protect the infrastructure of the government and the corporate sector (including ICT).
Investigation and prosecution of terrorist crimes
The capacity for investigation and prosecution of terrorist crimes will be expanded considerably. The Core teams, the National Police Agencies and the Public Prosecutions Department are reinforced by criminal investigators and analysts. The capacity of the human trafficking team at the Human Trafficking Unit is also expanded.
In view of the fact that terrorist organisations often use modern technology, the government will also take measures in this field. For example, by the introduction of satellite interception capacity, the expeditious introduction of the National Action Plan on Digital Criminal Investigators and the modernisation of police wiretapping rooms.
The government has also decided to examine the capacity of the special assistance unit (BBE).
The relationship between capital flows and terrorist act is of vital importance in the fight against terrorism. The government intends to put a halt to the supply of funds to terrorist groups.
The measures with respect to the financial sector are divided into two groups. It concerns the financial supervision legislation and enforcement and the investigation of suspect flows of funds. The first group relates to a reinforcement of the supervision of the compliance with the Disclosure of Unusual Transactions Act (Wet MOT), the Identification Services Act (Wet identificatie bij financiële dienstverand the Sanctions Act (Sanctiewet) and a report for independent (financial/legal) professionals and trust offices as well as regulations on supervision of trust offices and money transfer institutions. The second group of measures focuses on a reinforcement of the financial investigation, the improvement of the exchange of information and an efficient way of reporting information to the Unusual Transactions Reporting Office with respect to terrorism-related subjects.
The fight against terrorism requires an international approach. International forums have taken initiatives in which the Netherlands participates. This includes, inter alia, the implementation of recommendations in the fight against money laundering by the Financial Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), the obligation of States to make the provision of financial funds for terrorist activity punishable and a proposal by the European Council that would enable, for example, the Netherlands to issue a court order to freeze assets in the event of serious suspicions against citizens of other EU Member States.
The Netherlands will stress the importance of rapid ratification of extradition treaties and the conclusion of the amended directive on money laundering. The Netherlands also participates in the implementation of the Framework Decrees on terrorism and the EU arrest warrant (end of 2001).
At a national level, the legislation on UN Conventions on bomb terrorism and financing of terrorism must be ratified in timely fashion. Both legislative proposals have been submitted to the Lower House. The Netherlands will undertake to ratify the EU agreement on mutual assistance. This would enable the formation of joint teams. In addition, the expeditious signing and ratification of the Convention on Crime in Cyberspace Convention is necessary.
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