Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Security Hirsi Ali costs over €4m, Volkskrant - Security Hirsi Ali costs over €4m, Volkskrant 3 October 2007
The cost of 24 hour protection for the former Dutch MP and outspoken critic of Islam, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, must total at least €4m a year in bodyguards alone, says Wednesday’s Volkskrant.

Hirsi Ali returned unexpectedly to the Netherlands from the US earlier this week after the Dutch government refused to continue paying for her security in Washington where she has lived for the past year.

The Volkskrant bases its calculations on figures from the Netherlands’ biggest private security company Interseco and includes six bodyguards for round the clock cover. The cost of cars and secure accommodation is not included.

Justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin declined to give details on how much the government spends on protecting Hirsi Ali saying this could compromise her security, the paper says.

The Dutch government is prepared to go on paying Hirsi Ali’s security bills in the Netherlands but according to media reports on Wednesday, she is keen to return to the States and has asked for clarity on her position by Thursday.

The issue of Hirsi Ali’s security has divided MPs but according to today’s AD newspaper, a parliamentary majority is against the Dutch state paying for her security if she plans to live permanently in the US. Last week Hirsi Ali was given her green card allowing her to stay indefinitely in the US.

On Tuesday Hirsi Ali discussed the issue of her security with the national anti-terrorism coordinator Tjibbe Joustra but details of the discussion have not been made public.

‘It can’t be right to spend the taxpayers’ money of hard-working Dutch people in the US,’ Liberal (VVD) MP Laetitia Griffith is quoted as saying by ANP news service. Hirsi Ali was a VVD MP before leaving the country last year.

Although the GroenLinks have called for an emergency parliamentary debate on the issue, no date has been scheduled and it is uncertain wether it will take place. Readers' comments
AEI has lots of money, but they won't pay for HA's security details. They also declined to commment.

I wonder if protecting Hirsi Ali in the US would be cheaper than in The Netherlands. After all, 1 US$ represents only 71 eurocents... nowadays

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