Iran spied in Netherlands: security agency
28 April 2006, AMSTERDAM — Iran tried to secretly obtain information on technologies for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Netherlands last year, Dutch intelligence service AIVD said on Friday.
28 April 2006
AMSTERDAM — Iran tried to secretly obtain information on technologies for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Netherlands last year, Dutch intelligence service AIVD said on Friday.
AIVD director Sybrand van Hulst said the agency had noticed "some activities" in relation to Iranian spying. But he did not go into detail on the issue when he presented the intelligence service's 2005 report on Friday.
He repeated the accusation that Iran was among the countries believed to be trying to master WMD technology. Libya, North Korea, Pakistan and Syria were also listed as countries of concern — although Libya claims to have abandoned its WMD programmes.
Iran, Pakistan and North Korea appear to already possess long-range missiles, the AIVD said.
Van Hulst said spying is on the increase around the world and is becoming more diverse. The internet is becoming increasingly important as foreign powers direct their attentions not just against governments, but also companies and universities. Attempts are being made to gain influence over civil servants and employees of international companies.
Foreign intelligence services, Van Hulst said, also place students in universities to gather sensitive information. The AIVD has circulated an information brochure to warn government departments and companies about the danger.
Van Hulst said the AIVD nipped some spying operations in the bud last year by tipping off the Economic Affairs Ministry not to issue export licences. He did not give any details about the companies or countries involved or say whether any foreigners had been expelled for spying. He did confirm, however, that the AIVD's investigations had led to "people being withdrawn".
The AIVD report disclosed that the service received reports of 400 threats made against people last year. The AIVD had become increasingly involved in the task of protecting prominent people since the murder of film director Theo van Gogh in November 2004.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news