Speaking from Strasbourg, Mike Hookem MEP said, “With the heightened security situation around the world following a number of terrorist incidents this week, I am extremely worried about British personnel stationed at the Brunssum base."
• Following recent attacks by Muslim extremists in Australia, Pakistan, Canada and the USA, UKIP’s defence spokesman, Mike Hookem MEP has today said he has ‘grave concerns’ about the safety of British troops based at NATO’s Brunssum command complex in the Netherlands.
Officials were alerted to a potential threat in September after an officer stationed at the base said he was anxious about the safety of his family, following reports of a jihadist surveillance operation taking place in the area of the base and around the living quarters. This has left military personnel and their families feeling intimidated and threatened.
According to reports, much of the threat seems to centre on a local mosque, which is located 100 yards from the base and is said to be radicalising local Muslims.
The potential threat has now been brought to the attention of Brunssum’s authorities, who have confirmed the threat to local media; the Dutch Parliament, where questions were asked of the defence minister and the Dutch media, whose headlines today read, “NATO Personnel Followed” and “Brunssum Jihad Threat”.
Speaking from Strasbourg, Mike Hookem MEP said, “With the heightened security situation around the world following a number of terrorist incidents this week, I am extremely worried about British personnel stationed at the Brunssum base. While it is relatively simple to tighten security around the base itself, it is very difficult to secure the many housing estates, schools, places of worship and other facilities that are used by military personnel and their families.”
“I would like assurances from both the Dutch authorities and NATO that steps are being taken to guarantee the security of both the military personnel and their families, even if it means shutting the mosque that is said to be at the centre of these threats. While military personnel understand the risks they take when they put on the uniform, at no time should the families of armed forces personnel feel under threat, especially when based in mainland Europe. I am also alarmed at Dutch media reports that suggest recent savage cuts to military spending has left the base insecure and venerable to terrorist attack.”
“The situation in the Netherlands mirrors my concerns for military bases in the UK, where reduced number of personnel; cuts to military spending and the outsourcing of base security to private firms has the potential to leave our military establishments open to terrorist attack.”