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Dutch Official Suspended for Saying ISIS is 'Zionist Plot'

Official at the Dutch National Cyber Security Center suspended after tweeting that the Islamic State is "a preconceived plan of Zionists".
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/14/2014, 5:14 AM

ISIS fighters parade in Raqqa, Syria
ISIS fighters parade in Raqqa, Syria
Reuters

A project management official at the Dutch National Cyber Security Center has been suspended after tweeting that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), now known as the Islamic State (IS), was a “Zionist plot”.

According to the English-language NL Times website the employee, Yasmina Haifi, wrote, “ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. It is a preconceived plan of Zionists who want to deliberately make Islam look bad.”

The Ministry of Security and Justice and the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) responded by saying they were opposed to Haifi’s tweet.

“Security and Justice and the NCTV distance themselves from her remarks,” the government said in a statement quoted by NL Times. “And since [the comment] relates to the work of the NCTV and the National Cyber Security Center, cause is shown to terminate her assignment NCSC/NCTV and outsource her work with immediate effect.”

In an interview with the local Radio 1 on Wednesday, Haifi said she will not take back her statements, saying she has the right to speak her mind.

“Freedom of expression is apparently only for certain groups,” she was quoted as having said.

“I have taken the liberty to express myself and obviously I have to pay for it. I do not know why I should take it down; this is what I think,” Haifi declared.

Dutch MPs Joram van Klaveren and Louis Bontes have asked Security and Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten to take action against the official, according to the NL Times.

Van Klaveren and Bontes said in a joint statement that “a person who propagates such ideas and is working with state secrets could be a threat to national security.”

Haifi has since removed the statement from her Twitter feed, saying, “I realize the political sensitivity in relation to my work. This [public reaction] was never my intention.”