Amsterdam Mayor: Extremist attack in Amsterdam isn’t inconceivable
Following the terrorist attack in Nice on Thursday, Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema has said a similar extremist attack occurring in the Dutch capital isn’t out of the question.
A terrorist attack in Amsterdam isn't inconceivable
In a letter to the city council, Halsema stated that the attack in Nice had significant impacts on the sense of security in Amsterdam, and that the city was vulnerable due to the melting pot of people and opinions that live there. However, the mayor called freedom of speech and freedom of expression a fundamental right that everyone should enjoy: “Whoever we are, whatever we believe, and wherever we come from, we stand for our freedoms," she wrote.
Halsema’s letter came after the Dutch counter-terrorism unit (NCTV) released a statement saying an attack similar to the one in Nice was not unimaginable in the Netherlands. The mayor has been in contact with the NCTV, saying that while there is no reason to take extra security measures now, it is a good idea to be prepared.
The municipality will be sending officials and police officers into Amsterdam to monitor sentiments and responses to the attack, and Halsema says the city and its police force are on high alert: "We will use our networks and monitor the emotions among the population."
Dutch response to Nice terror attack
Following the gruesome attack in Nice on Thursday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte took to Twitter to show solidarity for the people of France. King Willem-Alexander also released a statement speaking out against the “horrendous act of violence”: “Our hearts go out to all those affected. We empathize with those who have lost a loved one and feel a bond with everyone who is committed to a peaceful society. ”
A number of other government ministers and politicians also spoke out against the attack. Foreign Minister Stef Blok said: “Shocked and indignant about the terrorist attack in Nice. My thoughts go out to the relatives of the victims and all the people of France,” while leader of the Socialist Party, Lilian Marijssen wished relatives of the victims strength at this time: “Whatever your background, colour or religion, let's unite against this barbarism."
The CMO - the foundation representing the interests of Muslims living the Netherlands - released a statement on Thursday calling the attack in Nice “cowardly and inhuman,” and asked Mosques and Imams across the country to honour the victims of the attack in services over the coming days.