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Dutch PM calls security leaks by Wilders’ protection unit ‘serious’

Dutch agent Faris K. who worked for the unit tasked with securing politicians and diplomats, including protecting Geert Wilders, has been caught leaking sensitive information. The agent himself of Moroccan origin.

Published: February 23, 2017, 1:10 pm

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    The Hague

    A well-established source told Dutch online news, AD Nieuws that Faris K’s leaks to a Moroccan crime syndicate about the possible whereabouts of politicians, high-profile diplomats and the Royal Family, was detected recently by the security services. The agent was closely involved in the security of PVV leader Geert Wilders, who lives with constant 24/7 protection after receiving death threats from jihadists and attempts on his life.

    Although Faris K. was not involved in the direct personal security of politicians, he was called an “explorer”, someone who gathers information about places to where the target person would be travelling.

    Erik Akkerboom

    According to police chief Erik Akkerboom, who spoke to BNR, they do not yet know the extent of the leaks. It has been confirmed that Faris K. had access to sensitive information kept in classified police files, and therefore had knowledge of travel routes, safe houses and breaching strategies.

    The unit tasked with the personal safety of VIP’s is called the DBB in Dutch. Their responsibilities include monitoring Geert Wilders, a police source confirmed.

    “If I can no longer blindly trust the service (DBB) which must protect me, I can no longer function. This is unacceptable,” Wilders tweeted. National police spokesperson Dennis Janus confirmed to AFP that an agent had been arrested on Monday suspected of “violating official secrets”.

    Prime Minister Rutte is taking the threat seriously he says. He reported this morning that he had met with the PVV leader about his security. But he would not comment on their discussion. Wilders also tweeted that Rutte was taking the matter seriously.

    Other political parties demanded clarification from the Prime Minister. “We want a letter from Rutte,” said D66 leader Alexander Pechtold. He called the news “alarming”.

    Chairman Jan Struijs of the Dutch Police Union called the leaks unsurprising, because “information is the new gold”.

    NCTV boss Dick Schoof warned recently in the Dutch media that, in the Netherlands, ever closer links between criminals and jihadists are being forged. In this way very specific information about politicians like Wilders becomes sought after.

    The agent has meanwhile been relieved of his duties. Dutch newspapers De Telegraaf and NRC Handelsblad and the country’s national broadcaster NOS identified the suspect as an experienced officer in his mid-30s.

    Conservative politician Pim Fortuyn was assassinated just nine days before Dutch elections in 2002, shocking the country to the core.

    The Peilingwijzer survey showed Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) would garner 24 to 28 seats in the 150-seat lower house of parliament.

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