Annual report 2009 published: The protection of the Netherlands requires forward defence

The threat to our national security has acquired a strong international dimension. To an increasing extent, the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) has therefore focused its attention on developments abroad and it will continue to do so in the years to come.

“The AIVD calls such investigations forward defence”, said Gerard Bouman, head of the AIVD, at a press conference of the service held in view of the publication of the 2009 annual report.

The AIVD aims at monitoring threats and preventing them from entering the Netherlands.

According to the AIVD, in particular the investigation into terrorist threats calls for investigations abroad. Knowing who goes abroad to receive jihadist training is important, but not nearly as important as knowing whether a foreign network is capable of committing attacks in the Netherlands or on Dutch targets abroad.

Another example that clarifies the need for forward defence includes the service’s investigations carried out within the context of nuclear, chemical or biological programmes. The AIVD must obtain an insight into the technological capabilities, intentions and needs of such countries as Iran, Syria and Pakistan. Conducting investigations in those very countries is therefore of vital importance.

The AIVD has intensified its co-operation with partner services abroad within the context of forward defence.