Counterterrorism Alert System

The Counterterrorism Alert System (ATb) is a warning system that can rapidly alert government institutions, police forces, emergency services and economic sectors in the event of a (possible) terrorist attack. This way, measures can instantly be taken. The NCTV coordinates.

The ATb is a series of tools and procedures that can rapidly alert in the event of a terrorist threat or emergency. If the intelligence services detect an elevated terrorist threat in a specific sector or part of it, the economic sector, government institutions and operational services are informed about this through the ATb. The plans designed for extra security measures can then be implemented swiftly to reduce the risk of an attack or to limit its effects. It is primarily intended to warn professionals and economic sectors rather than members of the public.

Economic sectors

The decision to link a sector to the ATb depends on whether it is both of vital financial and economic importance and an attractive target for terrorists. In the last case, other factors to consider are whether it would be possible to inflict large numbers of casualties by simple means via an attack on that sector, and whether targets within it are of (symbolic) importance to our Western society. Taking these considerations into account, 15 economic sectors are now linked to the alert system.

Alert levels

The ATb has four levels: the basic threat, low threat, moderate threat and high threat. Currently, (and for some time now) all sectors, apart from the aviation sector that is at low threat level alert, are at basic threat level.

Levels of alert of economic sectors
SectorsCurrent situation
Drinking waterBasic
Local public transportBasic
Public eventsBasic
Tunnels and water-control structuresBasic
AirportsLow threat

Up or downscaling

The decision to up or downscale the threat alert level for a sector is made by the Minister of Security and Justice, as the responsible Minister for counterterrorism, based on the advice of the NCTV. The announcement of an alert level is accompanied by information about the nature of the threat, in order to enable the measures being tailored to it.