Comprehensive counterterrorism approach

The ongoing terrorist threat is complex and dynamic. This is why counterterrorism is one of the government’s top priorities. The policy memorandum on the comprehensive approach to terrorism describes how the authorities use every means at their disposal to combat and stop the spread of extremism and terrorism, from preventive measures to repressive measures, from local action to international action. We also protect society by prosecuting terrorists.

Counterterrorism is a broad field, involving multiple actors carrying out a wide range of tasks. From municipalities determining the best way to deal with potential extremist individuals to police and security services around Europe sharing information. From the identification of potential threats to the optimal preparation for terrorist violence and its aftermath. Protecting individuals, properties and vital processes is another key component of counterterrorism. The security of railway stations, airports, city centres and other key locations has the government’s full attention.

The comprehensive approach is rooted in the National Counterterrorism Strategy 2016-2020 and consists of five elements/actions: procuring information, preparing for an attack, protecting people and property, preventing attacks and pursuing terrorists. This broad combination of preventive and repressive measures has long been standard practice in the Netherlands.