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Wilders' Security Officer Held for Suspected Data Leak

  • Associated Press

FILE - Netherlands' Party for Freedom leader Geert Wilders attends a news conference after a European far-right leaders meeting in Koblenz, Germany, Jan. 21, 2017.

FILE - Netherlands' Party for Freedom leader Geert Wilders attends a news conference after a European far-right leaders meeting in Koblenz, Germany, Jan. 21, 2017.

Dutch police have detained a security official in the group responsible for protecting anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders on suspicion of leaking classified information, a spokesman said Wednesday.

The extent of the security breach and whether it has had any effect on the tight security cordon that constantly surrounds the far-right Wilders was not immediately clear, but the leader of the populist Party for Freedom reacted angrily on Twitter.

"If I can't blindly trust the service (DBB) that has to protect me, I can no longer function. This is unacceptable," Wilders said in a tweet directed at Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Wilders has lived for more than a decade under around-the-clock protection and in anonymous safe houses following death threats.

Dutch media reported, citing unnamed sources, that the suspect is a police officer with a Moroccan background who had passed on information to a Dutch-Moroccan criminal organization. The story first appeared on the website www.NRC.nl .

Wilders was convicted last year for anti-Moroccan comments and, while campaigning last weekend, referred to ``Moroccan scum'' who commit crimes in the Netherlands.

The revelations came three weeks before the Netherlands holds a parliamentary election. Wilders' party is riding high in the polls, although mainstream parties have said they will not form a coalition with him if he wins the popular vote because of his hard-line anti-Islam stance. His manifesto includes closing Dutch borders to all migrants from Muslim nations, banning the Quran and shutting all mosques in the Netherlands.

In an indication the government is taking the alleged leaks seriously, the Dutch prime minister and the minister for security and justice on Wednesday visited the heavily-guarded wing of Parliament that houses Wilders' party offices. Rutte declined to say if he had met Wilders or to discuss the nature of his visit.

Wilders later tweeted that the security breach "is a serious case that fortunately is also being taken seriously by the Cabinet."

Police spokesman Dennis Janus revealed few details of the case, saying it was still under investigation. He said an officer from the DBB security team was detained Monday on suspicion of "sharing classified police information in the private sphere."

The DBB is responsible for security around politicians, the Dutch royal family and diplomats based in the Netherlands.

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