Donner: no specific threat to Netherlands
8 July 2005, AMSTERDAM — There is no information of a specific terrorist threat to the Netherlands and therefore no extra security measures will be taken at the moment, Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner said on Friday.
8 July 2005
AMSTERDAM — There is no information of a specific terrorist threat to the Netherlands and therefore no extra security measures will be taken at the moment, Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner said on Friday.
Speaking in The Hague, Donner said agreements had been made with police and railway police in the four biggest cities — Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Rotterdam — to increase vigilance to spot suspicious activities.
The hastily organised press conference was called in response to the bombings in London on Thursday. Over 50 people are known to have died in attacks on tube trains and a double-decker bus.
"The threat remains substantial for the Netherlands and alertness is essential," Donner said.
He acknowledged the target of Thursday's attacks could just have easily been the Netherlands. "We face the same risk as London and Madrid," Donner warned.
Contacts between the Dutch security agencies, AIVD and MIVD, and foreign intelligence agencies have been intensified, Donner said.
Donner said he was not opposed to organising a public information campaign, similar to one in the UK, to explain to the public how to respond to a serious incident on the public transport system. "We have to look at the usefulness of such a public campaign," he said.
He announced increased surveillance at Dutch harbours and airports with links to Britain would remain in place. The intention, he said, was to detect the people responsible for the London attacks who might be trying to leave the UK.
Extra security had also been assigned to British institutions in the Netherlands.
Donner said it was unclear who the attackers were but he conceded the bombings in London had a "Islamic" signature.
The minister refused to be drawn on any possible connection between the Hofstadgroep and Thursday's attacks.
Although a member of the alleged Dutch Islamic terror group was arrested in London on 22 June, the minister stressed the organisation was purely a Dutch one.
Mohammed B., the man who has taken responsibility for the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh is to appear in an Amsterdam court on Monday. B. is also alleged to be a key member of the Hofstadgroep.
Donner said security arrangements around certain public figures have been re-evaluated but he declined to say if extra measures are been assigned to these people or the North Sea Jazz festival at the weekend.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news