Al-Qaeda cell in Netherlands ‘ready to attack’
10 June 2004
AMSTERDAM — Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network al-Qaeda has an active cell in the Netherlands which is ready to strike, according to the published transcript of telephone intercepts.
It is unclear if the Islamic terrorists referred to in the transcripts plan to attack in the Netherlands or elsewhere in Europe.
Newspaper El Pais and Italian daily La Repubblica published partial transcripts of telephone conversations by alleged terrorist ‘Mohammed the Egyptian’ who was arrested in Milan on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old man, Rabei Osman el-Sayed Ahmed, who is actually Moroccan, is said by police sources to be one of the main figures behind the organisation of the 11 March bomb attacks.
Bombs detonated on four trains in and around Madrid on 11 March this year, killing 191 people.
On Tuesday, Belgian and Italian police arrested several men, including ‘Mohammed the Egyptian’, suspected of involvement with terrorism.
‘Mohammed’ appears to have been subjected to police surveillance for some time before the arrests.
In one of the intercepted telephone conversation, he allegedly told a friend: “You should know one cell was ready in the Netherlands. Later, for various reasons, it fell apart. At the moment there is just one person who is ready. He is nervous, having just come out of prison – but everything in good time.”
The Dutch security service AIVD had refused to comment on the reports, due to the “operational character” of the information from Spain and Italy, Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant said.
Dutch Liberal party parliamentarians Geert Wilders and Ayaan Hirsi Ali have called on the government to comment on the suggestions the Netherlands is a terrorist target.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news + terrorism