Amsterdam boosts security for citys Jewish centers

The city of Amsterdam said it will increase security around Jewish centers indefinitely in the aftermath of the deadly shootings May 24 at a Jewish museum in Brussels.

The decision was based on the recommendation of the Netherlands’ national coordinator for counterterrorism and security, or NCTV, the ANP news agency reported June 5.

Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard Edzard van der Laan said the extra security comes in addition to existing security arrangements made by the Jewish community of Amsterdam, where most of the Netherlands’ 45,000 Jews live.

Dutch politicians and Jewish community representatives have lobbied for years for their government to increase security arrangements around Jewish institutions. The Jewish community of Amsterdam estimates its annual expenditure on security at just over $1 million.

Meanwhile, in the Belgian city of Antwerp, a spokesman for the local police told the ATV channel that police will soon reduce security around Jewish institutions, which since the attack have been guarded by a special force of approximately 200 officers armed with machine guns.

“We can continue patrolling for a while longer, but not forever,” the spokesman said June 9.

On May 24, a man entered the Jewish museum in Brussels with an assault rifle  and a handgun. He killed two Israeli tourists and two museum staffers. Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, was arrested for the murders May 30 in France by customs officials who found him with similar weapons. He has denied the charges. — jta