In the Netherlands the threat levels are indicated on an ascending scale from 1 to 5. Within the Terrorist Threat Assessment Netherlands the individual criteria, and thus their scope, have been revised accordingly.

The threat level, which is set on the basis of the Terrorist Threat Assessment Netherlands (DTN), reflects the general terrorist threat over a longer period of time. In order to determine the threat level, many different factors are taken into account. The nature, origin, specificity, visibility and timeliness of these factors may vary.

On the basis of findings arising from the conference ‘10 Years of the DTN’ in December 2015, the system of threat levels has been modified, starting with the present edition of the DTN, with a view to ensuring its future effectiveness. Threat levels are indicated on an ascending scale from 1 to 5. The individual criteria, and thus their scope, have been revised accordingly.

The threat levels are used to qualify the scope of the estimated risk that the Netherlands will face a terrorist attack. Fluctuations in the nature, extent and background of the threat therefore do not always immediately warrant raising or lowering the threat level. Furthermore, a concrete threat against a person, object or vital sector in the Netherlands need not lead to a rise in the general threat level, even if systems other than the DTN do raise their levels.

The bullet points that appear under the threat levels below are intended to illustrate the kinds of situations that may occur under a given threat level. This also means that not all of the bullets need apply if a particular threat level is in force.

The following table lists a number of factors that are used to determine the threat level. It is important to emphasise that the list is not exhaustive. It serves merely as an illustration. Each threat level should in fact be regarded as a threat range without clear boundaries. This means that variations can occur in the nature, size and background of the threat without prompting a change in the general threat level. Factors may change, but the overall assessment remains roughly the same.

Level 1The terrorist threat to the Netherlands is minimal.
It is unlikely that a terrorist attack will occur in the Netherlands.
  • We have no indications that there are individuals in the Netherlands who pose a terrorist threat.
  • We have no indications that the Netherlands is a potential target of terrorists abroad.
Level 2The terrorist threat to the Netherlands is limited.
There is a slight chance of a terrorist attack in the Netherlands.
  • There is evidence of radicalisation that could eventually pose a threat.
  • Terrorists have the intention of carrying out attacks in Europe but have made no specific preparations to that end.
Level 3The terrorist threat to the Netherlands is significant.
A terrorist attack in the Netherlands is conceivable.
  • There are individuals and groups in the Netherlands that are becoming highly radicalised and pose a threat.
  • We have no indications that terrorists are preparing an attack in the Netherlands, though it is conceivable.
  • Terrorists are carrying out or plotting attacks in Europe.
Level 4The terrorist threat to the Netherlands is substantial.
There is a real chance of a terrorist attack in the Netherlands.
  • Terrorists see the Netherlands as a target.
  • Terrorists are carrying out attacks in surrounding countries.
  • Possibly, we may have indications that terrorists are preparing an attack on the Netherlands.
Level 5The terrorist threat to the Netherlands is critical.
A terrorist attack in the Netherlands is imminent.
  • We have specific indications that terrorists are about to carry out an attack in the Netherlands.
  • An attack has taken place in the Netherlands.
  • There is a chance of a follow-up attack in the Netherlands.

Remarks on Level 5

  • The level can be raised to 5 for just one specific part of the country.
  • Level 5 will be maintained for a limited time only.

Up or downscaling

The NCTV ascertains the current threat level.