Thursday, March 30, 2006

Dutch Internal Intelligence Service: Terrorist threat homegrown and home bound

The AIVD, The Dutch Internal Intelligence Service reported (Dutch) to Dutch Parliament today in a public report that the threat of terrorist attacks against Dutch targets is mainly from locally organised networks or cells. The number of Muslims involved in Jihad is volatile and they are able to act violently without need for support or input from abroad. The number of active Jihadis bent on murder and mayhem is higher than 150. "Not all networks a direct threat" according to Minister Remkes of "Binnenlandse Zaken" the Dutch Home Office.

The report was interpreted for the benefit of Dutch Parliament by mr. Van Hulst, the head of the AIVD.

However Dutch Jihadi networks are increasingly seeking to get intergrated into international networks. They are looking for Jihadis from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan who enter the Netherlands under the flows of family re-unification, marriages, asylum and tourism. The AIVD has found concrete examples of this, said mr. Van Hulst.

Radicalisation of Muslims to Jihadi differs in The Netherlands from other European countries on three points:

- Jihad in The Netherlands is the main drive of Dutch Jihadis; and
- is aimed at politicians and pundits;
- the role of women is significant in Dutch Jihadi networks.

The Jihadi women take initiative. According to mr. Van Hulst a similar transformation may soon be seen in the rest of Europe. Feminism is a scourge.

This news confirms the worst suspicions of that segment of the Dutch population hostile to third world immigration. And feminism :-)

Such as your inteprid reporter.

Venezuela vs The Netherlands: conflict in the Caribbean

El Presidente Chavez, the muy grande Maximo Jefe of Venezuela is making threats towards The Netherlands.

Come again?

Venezuela is threatening The Netherlands. A European country.

It is true, people. It is like this. In the Caribbean there are many, many Islands populated with happy brown people. Most of these island have their own Governments. But some other Islands are still nominally owned by European countries like France and the UK. And The Netherlands. The Netherlands own 6 Island in the Carribean. 3 are small and insignificant, laying a bit to the East of Puerto Rico.

And then there are Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao not far from the Venezuelan South American mainland. They have perhaps a population of 250.000 people combined, although there are many illigal immigrant from Venezuala, who nobody counts. A significant portion of the population has left the Island to seek greener pastures and welfare checks in The Netherlands.

Chavez has said that he will step in once the Dutch reduce their military presence. The matter has been raised in Parliament. Henk Kamp, the defense minister has assured that the Navy and Dutch Marine Corps are ready to protect the Islands against invasion.

Interesting enough the Dutch branch of the French arms manufacturer Thales is delivering an airfield air defense system to Venezuela this year. The Defender system has been developed together with Israel and a succesful test was conducted there yesterday.

Venezuela is no military threat to the Dutch force keeping the peace on the Islands. In order to get to the Islands the Venezuelans have to rule the sea and the airspace around the Islands, which is defended by Dutch frigates, patrol planes and boats.

Venezuela can not hope to be succesful against the technologically superior Dutch naval force. It can however use the hostility of the native population against the Dutch to incite violence through radio and TV broadcasting. There is a lively traffic between the Islands and the mainland in drugs which can be used as a cover in order infiltrate agents to commit acts of sabotage against the Dutch. Such an unclear and covered way of making war against a Western nation is ussually successful.

The question is whether The Netherlands holds on to the Dutch Antilles anyway. The population is mildly hostile to us, as is made clear with every election. The indigenous administration is corrupt. The air links between the Antilles and The Netherlands are a highway for cocaine smuggling between South America and Europe and a source of embarresment of the Dutch towards other European nations who are feeling the effect on their population.

The Dutch are mainly providing free law enforcement and military services to the indigenous elites. Also The Netherlands has to bail out the Antilles all the time because they keep running into financial trouble. Perhaps because the Dutch keep bailing them out? Basically the Antilles are a wonderful post for high ranking Dutch civil servants, politicians and military bureaucrats to play around in a funny little place with excellent weather, willing and abundant womanfolk and cheap servants. Playing the colonial. The bills have to be paid by the Dutch tax payer, who has also to deal with rampant crime of the Antillean underclass that is dumped by the local elites on The Netherlands. Antillians are notoriously prone to solving disputes with cheap "Tanfoglio" pistols.

No taste in guns these chaps, no taste at all.

So hand over those wonderful tropical additions to the Venezuelans. And in order to make up for all those centuries of rapacious Dutch colonialism let's make a gift of 50 thousand Antillians in The Netherlands. In order not to appear stingy let's make an additional gift of say 100 thousand Moroccans to the people and government of Venezuela. So they can help build it up. Like they are helping us to build The Netherlands up.

I am looking forward to see the local economy off after the gringo colonial bloodsuckers leave. I am sure it will go like that other success story of decolonisation: Africa.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Bush Conspiracy

Charles Martel:I hate conspiracy theories - but is not beyond the bounds of reason that Dubya is playing the "bring it on" card?
A terrorist attack via the ports would be a perfect excuse for Dubya to seriously ramp up the war on Islam , cough, ahem, i mean the war on "terror".
And if the attack can be traced back to the Iranians - well, there you have it.

Snouck:Well, if that was the intention of Bush, I would think that he and his co-conspirators would want to be in control of the terrorist infiltration in order to keep an eye on it. If there is an terrorist attack on the USA and in the investigation it is found that it indeed came through an UAE-controlled port then Dubya will be blamed.

Neither he nor his coterie want to take such responsibility. As illustrated by the cover-up of Cheney's" drunkeness when he shot his friend a week or so ago. These guys want to be in control, but I guess that the group of people that Bush is loyal to, are not just American or even Western, but that he is loyal to a group that encompasses powerfull Middle Easterners too and that Bush trusts these people. Obviously many US citizens do not feel the same level of trust as Bush does.
You and I do not know whether these people are really as reliable as Bush seems to think. But if Bush's trust turns out to have been unfounded by a future terrorist attack then he will be in very dire straits.

I do not know why he exposes himself so much. It is the same with his attempt to appoint that Miers woman as a Chief Justice. Bush seems to be lacking in judgement. That is a disconcerting conclusion when we realise that the West is in a conflict that is so new and unusual in shape and outline requiring vision and the ability to define possible new avenues of attacks that can be used by the enemies of the West.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Fighting against Jihad in Indonesia

Snouck Hurgronje was a Dutchman who lived from 1857 to 1936. He was a scholar of Islam and visited Mecca. He wrote several books about the origin and development of Islam. This was of great interest to the Dutch elites of the time.

In the 19th century The Netherlands had become a more or less unified and modern country, organised according to French legal preceipts. The country had inherited vast Asian possesions from an organisation founded in 1602 on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the VOC. The United East-Indian Company was a cartel set-up by Dutch traders to organise and undertake trade with Asia, from Japan to the East African Coast. After an initial run of successes during which the company chased the Portuguese, Spanish and English out of many ports around Asia the company became the biggest employer in The Netherlands. The company outlawed competition in the areas where it was supreme and started to run out of steam. In 1799 the company was utterly broke and dissolved by the French rulers of the Netherlands. After the defeat of Napoleon the English handed back many of the Asian possesions of the VOC to the new Dutch government.

With this the Dutch elites found themselves the rulers of masses of Islamic subjects and a vast empire in scattered of thousands of small and dozens of big Islands, an empire that was called: "the emerald girdle" due to the appearance of the green Islands in the Asian seas.
Wanting power and money the local Indonesian/Dutch elites started to economically develop the societies they found themselves ruling in order to be able to tax it. And change of course invites opposition, mostly from the local secular rulers, the Raden or noblemen. But another force gathered against the Westerners.

Most local rulers were quickly taken care of by armies of white soldiers shipped in from Europe, supported by local mercenaries, often Christians from the Molluccan Islands. However at a certain point the Dutch had to face a more formidable foe.

The area of modern day Indonesia that lies Westermost is the Island Sumatera. It is a big Island, less densely populated than the dominant and central Island of Java. There are several strong ethnic groups there such as the former cannibals and present day Bataks on the Northern side close to Malasia and the interesting matriarchal Muslims of the Minang Kabau culture on the Southern side of the mountainous Island. On the Western tip of the Island lies the old culture of Aceh. The Aceh people were the first Malays to be converted by Islam in the 14 th century. And they were a strong empire that dominated Sumatera in the 15th and 16th century. In the 19th century their strength was increasing again and so was their national conciousness. Being strongly Islamic their nationalism was strongly shaped and guided by the Qoran and the Islamic scribes. They send out their forces to dominate the other ethnic groups on Sumatera and this did not bother the colonial overlords much, who had only a symbolic presence on Sumatera.

But the Qoran orders the faithful to levy tax on the unbelievers and to loot them. And this is what Aceh pirates did in the seas around Aceh. This included the Malacca straits one of the busiest sea lanes in the world. Packed with shipping which was the lifeblood of the British Empire.

The British demanded that the Dutch would do something about the piracy problem and after some initial dithering the Dutch Govenor General in Batavia (Jakarta) declared war on the Sultan of Aceh and armies were summarely despatched. This was in 1873. The colonial army met with heavy opposition but in the end heavy weapons and European discipline prevailed and the Palace of the Sultan was sacked and burned.

Instead of submitting to Dutch colonial authority however the population continued to resist. The Dutch were at a loss to account for this a-typical behavior. The Dutch colonial government consolidated themselves in a entrenched and well-fortified position ("De geconcentreerde Linie") which was the subject of constant attacks and harrasment by warriors who did not fear death. The war was costly in lives and required the upkeep of a large army of conscipts and mercenaries who had to be paid and supplied. The constant attrition was a drag on the population of The Netherlands which saw its sons send off to die in a war that would not end. The war would last more than 20 years and interestingly enough the Dutch never gave up.
In fact the whole story reads surprisingly like the involvement of the USA armed forces in the Middle East.

At a certain point the Dutch elites became desperate enough to listen to somebody who said he had a key to the problem. This man was Snouck Hurgronje, a professor and a scholar of Islam and the Malay language. He had visited Mecca, wrote books and essays about Islam, lived in the colony in Asia, spoke local languages and knew local customs. He had even married a Muslim wife from the Malay race, "only to study the customs" as he wrote to his concerned Dutch wife.
Snouck taught Dutch officials that the enemy in Indonesia were not the caste of noble warriors and the traditional Malay social and political structure as elswhere in the Indonesian Archepilago. The enemy was Islam and all its believers who belonged to the nation of Aceh.In order to win the doctrine of the Qoran had to be targetted and undermined. This was done by targetting the sites of Islamic schools, the Madrassas. Specifically those Madrassas that were prestigious amongst the most ferocious enemies of the Dutch. Also the notion of Islamic spiritual dominance over the Kufaar had to be undermined and destroyed. This was done by raising a spirit of defiance and the will to dominate on the battlefield. Instead of attacking the forces of Islam from strong forts with artillery and heavy weapons, Dutch forces attacked with light rifles or often just with "Klewang". This is an Indonesian weapon that looks a bit like a sabre. The spirit of the Muslims was broken when they came under constant attacks by fearless White and Molluccan fighters who attacked with slash-and-cutting weapons running through and towards the rifle fire of the fighters of Islam.

The cost of the war was gruesome with more than a 100.000 members of the Nation of Aceh killed amongst whom where many women and children. Aceh was never really subdued it regained its spirit and rose in revolt against the Nationalist and Javanese dominated government of fellowMuslims in the 1960s. The new war is still going on although there is a temporary truce since the 2004 Tsunami. But the Dutch did manage to subdue Islam for a period of more than 50 years.

The General who came up with the military part of the effort to subdue Aceh was General van Heutz. The man is reviled by the left in his country of birth, but is ironically regarded as an icon by the Indonesian Nationalists who run modern-day Indonesia and the TNI, the Indonesian Army. Every year there is a parade and wreath ceremony by the TNI at the statue of van Heutz in Jakarta the capital of Indonesia.

What is more strange is that many Indonesian Muslim groups see Snouck Hurgronje as a friend and "elder brother" of Islam.

A cog in an ally's war machine

It is never a good idea to be poor, small and powerless. One story that keeps cropping up in The Netherlands is the “Englandspiel” story from the Second World War. It is a story about a group of Dutchmen who managed to smuggle themselves to England during the war and joined a British organisation tasked with strengthening the resistance effort on the continent. The organisation was called the SOE, for Special Operations Executive. In order to connect itself with the Norwegian, Danish, Belgian, French and Dutch resistance against the German occupation SOE wanted to establish radio links with the fledgling resistance organisations.

The SOE recruited patriotic individuals amongst those who had fled from the German occupied countries. The SOE operatives were trained to be saboteurs, instructors and radio operators. The radio operators received special training in encryption and decryption of message traffic in order to safeguard the information links from being compromised by German intelligence organisations.

The SOE operatives had to be brought over to the German occupied countries. This usually happened by Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB) or by slow flying STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) planes such as the Lysander. Once they were in The Netherlands they had to find resistance groups and start training, sabotaging, intelligence gathering, reporting and sending messages back to SOE in Baker Street in London. More than 60 Dutch operatives were trained and dropped in The Netherlands.

The Germans off course were waiting for just such an initiative and had a at least two organisations in occupied countries to deal with insurrection and espionage. One was the Sicherheidsdienst (SD) or “Security Service” and the other was Abwehr of “Army Counter Intelligence”. The former is tasked with keeping in check elements of the occupied population unhappy with the new German rulers, the other was the German Army organisation entrusted wit the task to deny the Armies of the Enemies of Germany with forming a picture of the strengths, weaknesses and plans of the German Armed Forces.

Major Giskes, Head of the Abwehr in The Netherlands already captured a first indigenous Dutch radio transmitter in November 1941 before the SOE even smuggled in their first sets and communication team. Giskes set the radio up and pretended that it was still operated by a Dutch resistance cell. Messages from SOE London inform them that there will be new operatives dropped by SOE planes.

The first teams of SOE operatives are left unmolested by Abwehr and also by the goons of the SD, which is informed by Major Giskes. But soon the Germans bag all the operatives dropped by the English STOL planes.

As a part of the safeguards on the communications between the Dutch operatives and SOE in London there are some prearranged “errors” that have to be entered in messages in order to inform SOE that the messages are real. When the “errors” are omitted, it serves as a signal to SOE that the link has been compromised.

The Abwehr and SD understand this rule too, so they ask the “this message is uncompromised” signal during interrogation of captured operatives. The Dutch operatives give false signals and omit the “this message is uncompromised” signal, thusly indicating that their messages are in fact compromised.

But the bosses of Dutch section of SOE in Baker Street in London never pick up the signals that their radio transmitters and their operatives have fallen in German hands.

However Leo Marks the Chief Cryptographer and signal designer of the SEO monitors all garbled messages and has a special section dealing with incorrectly ciphered messages. And at a certain point Marks realised he was not getting any “indecipherables” from the Dutch section of SOE. This was due to the fact that the messages were encrypted by safe and sound German military professionals, rather than chased and hunted Dutch amateur operatives.

Finally in 1943 some captured Dutch operatives managed to escape from their prison and flee, first to Switzerland and then to England were they were accused of counter espionage and arrested.

However, despite the fact that SOE got confirmation in all their messages from The Netherlands that “this message is compromised”, the warning from the escaped operatives PLUS the warning from Leo Marks, the Chief Cryptographer, SOE leadership kept on sending operatives and war material to The Netherlands. 500.000 cartridges, 12 planes, 15 tons of explosives, 5,000 pistols, 3,000 sub-machineguns, 2,000 hand grenades, 300 machineguns and 75 radio transmitters fell in German hands. Of 61 operatives dropped 51 were captured of whom only 5 survived their captivity.

Abwehr called the operation, operation Nordpol. In The Netherlands it is known under the German name “Englandspiel” or “England game”. After the war suspicion mounted that the operation was indeed a game, but that it were the British who were playing with the Germans and that the Dutch operatives and the resistance groups hiding them were just pawns. The bigger game was supposed to be the location of the invasion. There was a commission of inquiry that looked into the working of SOE Dutch section. It came to the conclusion that SOE Dutch section blundered badly, which it indeed did. However, this is not supposed to mean that the English leadership of SOE were unaware of what was going on.

Hiding the location of the invasion is in my opinion not a reason for the game, as the English themselves did only in early 1944 decide that the invasion would be in Northern France. The Dutch after-war investigation in the working of SOE was so narrow that it can not have been intended to uncover any embarrassing truths.

The reason why the inner workings of SOE were kept secret after the war is simple. After the war SOE was merged into MI6. The communication techniques developed by the Leo Marks and his cipher section were important assets and had to be kept hidden, in order not to endanger the work of agents working for the UK in new battle fields across the world. Certainly there will have been more starry eyed believers used as pawns by the hard men running MI6.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

War and Disorder

This blog is started to look at war and disorder in the past, the present and the future. This blog should be read in combination with the Snouck Hurgronje blog.