Number of radical Dutch Muslims growing

AMSTERDAM (dpa) - The Dutch intelligence and security service AIVD published a report on Tuesday indicating the number of radical Dutch Muslims is on the rise.

The reports speaks about an "extremely intolerant and anti-democratic" movement which is reportedly not violent however.

The report, presented to Home Affairs Minister Guusje ter Horst, says Muslim neo-radicalism is characterised by increasingly professional leadership.

The non-violent neo-radicals are substantially less fragmented than radical Muslim groups that use violence, the AIVD says.

According to the intelligence service's information, there are 15 to 20 Salafist preachers in the Netherlands, who are active in 30 to 35 mosques and youth centres.

Another 20 salafist preachers are currently in training. Salafism is a radical and ultra-orthodox movement in Islam.

The AIVD reports the radical message of Salafi Muslims appeals to some 20,000 to 30,000 of the Netherlands' 1 million Muslims.

Moderate Muslims, Muslim gays and those who have renounced Islam are the primary target of neo-radical Islam, the AIVD writes.

The Dutch intelligence service says neo-radicals may consciously obstruct the freedom and civil rights of the moderates. The chance that violence will eventually be used is not to be excluded.

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