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GOVERNMENT FAULTED ON ISLAMIC THREAT

Dutch lawmakers accused the government Thursday of underestimating the threat from Islamic terrorists and failing to protect a filmmaker slain by a suspected Muslim radical.

In a parliamentary debate about the slaying of Theo van Gogh last week, lawmakers from government and opposition parties urged Premier Jan Peter Balkenende to take urgent steps to increase public safety and restore confidence in the law.

The Nov. 2 killing triggered a cycle of retaliatory attacks on Islamic buildings and Christian churches that shocked this traditionally peaceful nation.

"When it comes to preparing a terrorist attack, it's better to have 10 possibly innocent people temporarily in jail than one with a bomb on the street," said Maxime Verhagen, floor leader of Balkenende's Christian Democrats.

Jozias van Aartsen, leader of Balkenende's Liberal allies, urged the government to close mosques where imams preach violence, shut down Web sites that spread antidemocratic ideas and beef up the intelligence services.

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