your connection to The Boston Globe

Dutch political leader cites 'arrival of jihad'

THE HAGUE -- The government vowed tough measures yesterday against what a leading politician called ''the arrival of jihad in the Netherlands" after a death threat against a Dutch lawmaker was found in a letter pinned with a knife to the body of a slain filmmaker.

The five-page letter, signed by a suspected terrorist group, was released Thursday by the justice minister, and forced political leaders to take on bodyguards. Dutch authorities arrested nine men in Tuesday's slaying of filmmaker Theo van Gogh, all of whom are tied to Islamic militant groups. Two suspects have been released.

Titled ''An open Letter to [Aayan] Hirsi Ali," it referred to a Somali-born member of parliament who scripted Van Gogh's film, ''Submission," which criticized women's treatment under Islam. Hirsi Ali, who says she is a former Muslim, is now in hiding.

''We are not going to tolerate this," Deputy Prime Minister Gerrit Zalm said. ''We are going to ratchet up the fight against this sort of terrorism. The increase in radicalization is worse than we had thought."

Jozias van Aartsen, parliamentary speaker for the right-wing free market VVD party, said: ''The jihad has come to the Netherlands and a small group of jihadist terrorists is attacking the principles of our country. I hope the Netherlands will now move beyond denial and do what is fitting in a democracy; take action.

''These people don't want to change our society, they want to destroy it," he said.

Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months
 Advanced search / Historic Archives