THE HAGUE, Netherlands (JTA) — Following the slaying of four people at Brussels’ Jewish museum in May, the City of Amsterdam has decided to increase security around Jewish centers indefinitely.
The decision was based on the recommendation of the Dutch National Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism and Security, or NCTV, the ANP news agency reported on Thursday. The Coordinator said in an advisory notice that there was no concrete intelligence on planned attacks, AP reported, but added that the May 24 murder of four people in Brussels shows “that such an attack is perceivable,” according to the NOS broadcaster.
Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard Edzard van der Laan said the extra security measures, which were not specified in Dutch media, will come in addition to existing security arrangements made by the Jewish community of Amsterdam, where most of the Netherlands’ 45,000 Jews live.
“It will increase the community’s security and ability to resist [attacks],” ANP quoted van der Laan as saying.
Dutch politicians and Jewish community representatives have lobbied for years for their government to increase security arrangements around Jewish institutions. The Jewish community of Amsterdam estimates its annual expenditure on security at just over $1 million.
Meanwhile, in the Belgian city of Antwerp, a spokesperson for the local police told the ATV channel that police will soon reduce security around Jewish institutions, which since the attack have been guarded by a special force of approximately 200 officers armed with machine guns.
“We can continue patrolling for a while longer, but not forever,” the spokesperson said Monday.
French police on May 30 arrested Mehdi Nemmouche, a 29-year-old French national, whom Belgian and French authorities believe killed the four victims of the Jewish Museum of Belgium shooting in central Brussels, though he denies the allegations. French police said Nemmouche fought in Syria with jihdaists in 2013.
On Tuesday the museum reopened to the public for the first time since the attack, under heavy police surveillance, the news site 7sur7.be reported.
The following day, Belgium’s interior minister, Joelle Milquet, visited the museum with her French counterpart, Bernard Cazeneuve, to express solidarity with the Jewish community and extend their condolences for the dead — two of the museum’s staffers and two Israeli tourists.