Dutch play down 'nights of bloodshed' threat

17th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

17 August 2004, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch government has said it does not see any need to raise the country's alert status or to take extra security measures despite a terror threat against the Netherlands at the weekend.

17 August 2004

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch government has said it does not see any need to raise the country's alert status or to take extra security measures despite a terror threat against the Netherlands at the weekend.

A message supposedly from Islamacist terror group Jamaat al-Tawhid al-Islamiyya appeared on a website on Sunday and threatened attacks on the Netherlands and Italy if the countries' troops were not withdrawn from Iraq.

The message warned of an "Islamic earthquake" and "nights of bloodshed" with car bombs if the Netherlands failed to comply with its demand.

The authenticity of the statement has not been verified. There has also been some confusion in the Dutch media about the name of the group allegedly making the threat.

Most publications named the group on Monday as "al-Tawhid wa al-Jihad", which is said to be headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the reputed leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. But one major national outlet called it al-Tawheed, the name of a controversial mosque in Amsterdam.

French news agency AFP got the group's name right (Jamaat al-Tawhid al-Islamiyya) and said the English translation was Islamic Unification Group.

The website address has not been made public.

The Dutch government said on Monday evening that it is taking the threat seriously.

Interior Minister Johan Remkes confirmed the intelligence service AIVD had investigated the supposed threat and had been in contact with intelligence organisations in other countries.

"The government takes every threat against the Netherlands seriously and therefore also this one. The threat fits into the threat image that we recognise in this country since the terrible attacks in Madrid on 11 March 2004," Remkes said.

Remkes said Jamaat al-Tawhid had posted similar threats on the same website to other countries with troops in Iraq.

"Up to now there does not seem to be a direct relation between these threats and concrete acts or attacks in Europe."

"The government does not see any basis at this time from the results of the investigation to raise the threat level or to take additional measures in our country," the minister said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news, Dutch in Iraq, terror threat

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