The leader of the poll-topping Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), Geert Wilders, has announced the suspension of his campaign with less than three weeks to go before his nation’s general election after the discovery of a possible mole in his security detail.
A Moroccan-origin Dutch police officer working on Mr Wilder’s security detail was arrested Monday and subsequently released on bail for allegedly leaking police information about his assignment. Claims in the Dutch media stated the officer had passed information to a Dutch-Moroccan criminal organisation.
Subsequent revelations reported by Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad allege arrested officer Faris K. had been under suspicion in the past for security violations and that his brother Mohammed K. had been fired from Dutch police in 2007 for leaking police information, and had also been investigated for rape.
These revelations appear to have prompted Mr Wilders, who has been under 24-hour police protection for years thanks to the threat to his life by Islamist extremists, to reconsider his public appearances campaigning. With less than three weeks to go until the Dutch general; election on March 15, the PVV would be suspending further activities until further investigations into police corruption have taken place, reports the Dutch Telegraaf.
Mr Wilders took to Twitter this afternoon to announce his decision, calling the latest revelations “very disturbing”.
Nieuws enorm verontrustend. Tot alle feiten mbt onderzoek corruptie DBB bekend zijn, schort PVV de publieke activiteiten (flyeren) op.
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) February 23, 2017
Speaking on Wednesday as the breach in his security team by an alleged mole became known, Wilders tweeted directly at the Dutch Prime Minister to criticise the police escort provided by the government, remarking “If I can’t blindly trust the service (DBB) that has to protect me, I can no longer function. This is unacceptable”.
The DBB is the close-protection wing of the Dutch police which serves senior members of the government, the royal family, and politicians like Mr Wilders who are targets of murder plots.
Part of the concern about the alleged “mole” in Mr Wilders’ security details may relate to the Moroccan origin of the detained officer. Wilders has been a particularly vocal critic of mass migration and of Moroccan immigrants in particular.
The PVV leader found himself being tried at a high-security court in the Hague in December 2016 for discrimination and hate speech after he asked supporters at a rally in 2014 whether they wanted to see more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. As he kicked off his election campaign earlier this month, Mr Wilders called Moroccan migrant criminals “scum”.