THE HAGUE, March 13 (Xinhua) -- The terrorism threat level in The Netherlands was raised from "limited" to "substantial", the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV) declared on Wednesday on behalf of the Dutch government.
"The chance of an attack in the Netherlands or against Dutch interests abroad has risen," the NCTV said in a press release. "Two major reasons for this are the increase in the number of jihadists travelling to Syria and signs of radicalization among young people in the Netherlands."
The four levels of terrorism threat in The Netherlands vary from "minimal" to "limited" to "substantial" to "critical".
"Substantial" means there is a real chance of a terrorist attack, but there are no direct indications for that. For the first time since 2008 the Dutch terrorism threat level was raised to "substantial". Since November 2009 the level was "limited".
According to the NCTV close to a hundred so-called jihadist travelers individuals have recently left the Netherlands for various countries in Africa and the Middle East, especially Syria.
"These jihadist travelers can return to the Netherlands highly radicalized, traumatized and with a strong desire to commit violence, thus posing a significant threat to this country," said the NCTV.
The Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice and the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) intensified its activities in investigating the security risks, closely working with other Western countries.
The intelligence services are deploying additional personnel, while the police have enhanced the system used to gather information from regional units.