Al-Qaeda deadline 'led to Dutch terror warning'

14th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

14 July 2004 , AMSTERDAM — A looming al-Qaeda deadline contributed to the intensified terror alert issued for the Netherlands last week, the Dutch secret service AIVD reportedly confirmed on Wednesday.

14 July 2004

AMSTERDAM — A looming al-Qaeda deadline contributed to the intensified terror alert issued for the Netherlands last week, the Dutch secret service AIVD reportedly confirmed on Wednesday.

Osama bin Laden's terror network offered Europe an armistice if all European countries withdrew military forces from Afghanistan, Iraq and other Islamic nations within three months. That offer ends on 15 July.

News service RTL reported on Wednesday that the AIVD had informed the Dutch broadcaster that the end of the ultimatum was taken into account in the threat analysis used as a foundation for the terror alert issued for the Netherlands on 9 July.

The Netherlands has troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and has recently confirmed commitments to a continued Dutch military presence in both countries. The Dutch are involved in security and reconstruction operations.

The Netherlands also gave political, but not military support to the US-led war against Iraq, potentially opening up the risk of terrorist retaliations.

But the al-Qaeda ultimatum is not the only reason for the terror alert. Information has been received from various sources, prompting the Dutch Cabinet to declare the heightened terror alert.

The Netherlands presently holds the European Union presidency and RTL said this factor is almost certainly playing a role in the present threat. Intelligence services in other European nations have not taken noticeable extra precautions.

Armoured police wagons and extra police officers moved into surveillance positions at key Dutch infrastructure points last Friday after the AIVD warned the government it has indications that Islamic extremists might be preparing a terrorist attack.
 
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has since urged the public to remain vigilant. He has also said the public should not be alarmed with the visible additional security measures.

But controversially, the police union ACP claimed on Wednesday that officers have not been given clear instructions on how to respond to the present threat, a claim quickly dismissed by the Interior Ministry.

The ministry said instructions have been issued to police corps, the nation's Queen's commissioners, mayors and the Public Prosecution Office (OM).

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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