Terrorist attack 'thwarted', five arrested

14th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

23 October 2003, AMSTERDAM — Dutch authorities claim to have thwarted a planned terrorist attack by arresting five suspected Islamic extremists, but it is not known if the attack was targeted at the Netherlands.The Dutch secret service AIVD tipped off police last week about a possible bomb attack, but it is not known when the attack was planned to occur, the public prosecution said on Wednesday.

23 October 2003

AMSTERDAM — Dutch authorities claim to have thwarted a planned terrorist attack by arresting five suspected Islamic extremists, but it is not known if the attack was targeted at the Netherlands.

The Dutch secret service AIVD tipped off police last week about a possible bomb attack, but it is not known when the attack was planned to occur, the public prosecution said on Wednesday.

The AIVD became aware at the end of last week of a possible attack as part of its continuing investigations into extremist Muslims in the Netherlands, Dutch associated press ANP reported.

The secret service has previously estimated that more than 100 radical Muslims are active in the country and Eindhoven has been singled out as a hotbed of Islamic extremists. One of the city's mosques was allegedly linked to the Hamburg terrorist cell involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks against the US in 2001. 

Meanwhile, the five arrested men appeared before a judge for the second time on Wednesday, four of whom were ordered detained for an extra 10 days. One of the suspects, of Amersfoort, was released due to a lack of evidence.

The suspects are accused of planning a bomb attack, membership of a criminal organisation and the forgery of documents, an NOS news report said.

Two of the suspects are Amsterdam residents, while the others were arrested in Amersfoort, Schiedam (near Rotterdam) and The Hague. Further arrests have not been ruled out.

Police conducted several house raids and seized computers, discs, videotapes and cassettes. A forged passport and license were also allegedly seized.

The Netherlands last faced a terrorist threat on 27 September 2001 — two weeks after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington — when an anonymous letter warned of bomb attacks against traffic tunnels in Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

Tanks, snipers and heavily armed police and military police were placed at the entrances and exits to two tunnels in Rotterdam and two in Amsterdam. The threatened attack never took place and no arrests have been made.

The Dutch government has since dispatched 1,100 troops to Iraq to assist in peacekeeping operations there and an alleged recent tape recording of Osama bin laden — the leader of terror network Al Qaeda — warned of attacks against US allies supporting the war against Iraq. By implication, the Netherlands was also threatened.

Furthermore, two terrorist trials ended in acquittals in December 2002 and in June 2003 due to the fact the AIVD did not reveal classified information in court. The prosecution has appealed against both rulings.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Dutch news

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