Group warns Dutch to end mosque reprisals
9 November 2004 , AMSTERDAM — A week after the brutal murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, an unknown Islamic terrorist group has warned of terror attacks against the Netherlands unless reprisals against Muslim organisations end.
9 November 2004
AMSTERDAM — A week after the brutal murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, an unknown Islamic terrorist group has warned of terror attacks against the Netherlands unless reprisals against Muslim organisations end.
"We are asking you for the last time and you still have a chance to stop attacks against our mosques, schools and the Muslim community in Holland because otherwise you will pay a high price," the Islamic Tawhid Brigades wrote on Tuesday.
The message — placed on a website often used for similar such warnings by Islamic extremists — comes after various mosques have been targeted by vandalism or arson in the Netherlands, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
An Islamic primary school in Eindhoven was hit by a bomb attack early Monday morning. No one was injured in the blast, which police suspect was in retaliation to the murder of Van Gogh. The arrested murder suspect is a 26-year-old man Mohammed B., who holds Moroccan and Dutch citizenship. Reports have linked him to Islamic militancy.
The Islamic Tawhid Brigades said that it would not look on powerless in the face of further attacks on Muslim institutions and warned "the Dutch government and the people will pay heavily".
The authenticity of the warning is still under investigation.
The group has also claimed responsibility for the attacks carried out last month in Egypt, in which 34 people were killed and 200 injured at a hotel in Taba and two beach side resorts. Egyptian authorities have not yet made an official link with the attacks and the Islamic Tawhid Brigades.
Van Gogh was shot and stabbed in Amsterdam on 2 November and Mohammed B. was arrested minutes later. Police are holding five other men in connection with the case and unconfirmed media reports have suggested a Spanish fugitive militant ordered the attack.
The Dutch government issued a terror alert in July this year and security was intensified around key installations such as Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and the Parliament in The Hague. That terror alert has not been rescinded.
The Netherlands has also been warned of terror attacks in the past and it is difficult to assess the latest threat. The Tawhid Brigades was unknown until the attacks in the Egypt. But the World Islamic Group also claimed responsibility for those attacks.
Egyptian investigations have indicated that the attacks — which claimed the lives of 11 Israeli tourists — were probably associated with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The Tawhid Brigades said at the time the attacks were in retaliation to the assassination of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin by the Israelis in March.
The Omar al-Mukhtar Brigade of the Jamaat al-Tawhid al-Islamiya warned the Netherlands and Italy in August to withdraw their troops from Iraq. The message threatened an "Islamic earthquake" and "nights of bloodshed" with car bombs if the Netherlands failed to comply with its demand.
While not much is known about the Islamic Tawhid Brigades, Israeli intelligence claims the group is linked to the terror network al-Qaeda. Despite this, it can only be speculated about the number of group's members and its capacities.
The named Tawhid refers to the absolute oneness of God and the strict monotheistic character of the Islamic faith. Radical groups also use the term Tawhid to express their campaign for a great world Islamic community.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news