Monday, April 04, 2005

Expatica - Living in, moving to, or working in the Netherlands, plus Dutch news in English

Expatica - Alarm over radicalisation of Dutch youth

4 April 2005

AMSTERDAM — Police have sparked alarm about the speed with which youths are becoming radicalised in the Netherlands, with the Utrecht intelligence service RID claiming it potentially poses a threat more dangerous than Islamic terrorism.

Police and municipal councils have started investigating 'Lonsdale youths', typified by native Dutch teeangers who wear the Lonsdale clothing brand.

These hardcore youths are responsible for more racist incidents, street disturbances and violence than previously estimated, newspaper NRC reported on Saturday.

The Leiden University and Anne Frank Foundation recorded 106 violent anti-Muslim incidents in the month after the November 2004 murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a suspected Islamic militant.

Lonsdale youths were involved in about 25 percent of these cases and new incidents have occurred recently.

An Islamic primary school in Uden was set on fire earlier this month, the second arson attack against the school since Van Gogh's death. A 17-year-old boy has been arrested for the attack.

Researcher J. van Donselaar is still compiling the nation-wide incidents involving Lonsdale youths from recent months, but asserts that the figures show a multiplication on previous statistics.


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