Dutch PM: Borders tightened, tougher airport security after Paris

The Netherlands increased and strengthened border security in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris, France on Friday night. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the move at a press conference following an emergency meeting of cabinet members.

All relevant defense, security and intelligence agencies in the Netherlands will work with heightened preparedness, Rutte added. “The police will obviously be extra vigilant,” he stated during the news conference.
“Visible and invisible measures are being taken,” he said. This includes extra security will be present at large events, including Sinterklaas festivities and football matches, but also airports and train stations.

“Everything points to a thoughtful and well-organized attack, which has now been claimed by ISIS,” Rutte remarked. “We offered the French authorities all the help they need. I have also conveyed this message to President Hollande,” Rutte said, reflecting on the close proximity between the two nations and the shared value of a free and open society.

All transportation will be closely monitored, particularly car, train, and airplane traffic to France, Rutte said. He refused to go into further detail. Travellers planning on visiting France were advised to remain extra alert, the government advised, echoing sentiment from the Belgian government to avoid departing for France if possible. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs planned to staff its phone lines to answer questions related to the advisory.

Concerned travellers were told they could call (070) 348-7770 for further information. “The nightmare that became a reality last night resonates loudly today. Our heart, our condolences and our support go out to the victims, relatives and the entire French people. France can count on our help,” Rutte stated.

The prime minister implored people to continue with their lives as normal, like he stated after the shootings at the French editorial office of Charlie Hebdo. “That is our way of life. Continue to go to a restaurant, a football game or a movie,” he said on Saturday. “Our values and our rule of law are stronger than an extremist group. We will not let them intimidate us. We will not take any more,” he said.

“Together we are strong, and we are resilient.” As many as 150 people were killed in multiple attacks across the French capital on Friday night and early Saturday morning, Rutte said. Flags across the Netherlands will fly at half-staff in memorial of those killed.

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