Dutch troops told not to travel in uniform after jihadist threat
Dutch soldiers have been told not to wear uniforms on public transport, a defence ministry spokeswoman said Thursday, after a Dutch jihadist in Syria called for attacks in the Netherlands.
"Last night (Wednesday) we advised military personnel not to travel in uniform on public transport," Marloes Visser told AFP.
"There have been several statements made earlier this week which we are monitoring," she said, declining to elaborate.
On Tuesday, a Syria-based Dutch jihadist fighter calling himself Muhajiri Shaam called for action against the Netherlands following US air strikes.
Shaam called in an online video for jihadists to "stand up and carry out a strong, firm act against the Dutch state" for "supporting the United States."
Speaking in Dutch, Shaam said he made the video in the Syrian city of Aleppo, where he has joined the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front, state broadcaster NOS said.
The Dutch government on Wednesday announced it will deploy six F-16 fighter bombers in the US-led air campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq, but not in Syria.
Dutch defence analysts have warned the announcement could raise security risks in the northern European country, especially at public places such as stations and squares.
Defence ministry spokeswoman Visser however said Wednesday night's uniform advice was not prompted by the F-16 announcement.
Dutch counter-terrorism chief Dick Schoof said the decision was taken "as a precautionary measure."
"It will stop drawing the attention of people who think 'that's someone I can attack'," Schoof told the NOS.
Visser added that military personnel working in uniform and using public transport "will change at work."
© 2014 AFP