Group threatens Dutch with ‘Islamic earthquake’
16 August 2004
AMSTERDAM — Muslim extremists have threatened an “Islamic earthquake” and “nights of bloodshed” in the Netherlands unless Dutch troops are withdrawn from Iraq. The warning came a day after a Dutch soldier was shot dead in southern Iraq.
“We address this message to all crusader countries plotting against the Muslims, and which are sending forces to Iraq and Afghanistan, especially Italy and the Netherlands,” organisation al-Tawhid wa al-Jihad said on a website on Sunday.
Al-Tawhid wa al-Jihad is said to be group connected to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the reputed leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq.
“Expect a hell that will turn your nights into bloodbaths,” warned the statement posted on an Islamic website and addressed “to the European countries… to the Dutch government and people.”
The group warned the Netherlands that the statement was “a final message that we are sending to you, and it is a simple message, namely the pullout of Dutch forces from Iraq.”
“Or else, your fate will be similar to the fate of Italy and other states,” which have been the target of deadly terror attacks, it said.
“You will be surprised by the Islamic earthquake that will shake your country. You did not learn from the lesson of Spain and other countries. You only understand the language of blood and car bombs,” the statement warned.
The authenticity of the statement has not yet been verified. A spokesperson for the Dutch foreign ministry said it took every threat seriously and the matter is under investigation.
The government issued a terror alert on 9 July and security was tightened at key installations in the west of the country. It was later confirmed the arrest of a Muslim youth, 17, was one of the main reasons for the alert that is still in force.
Arrested for questioning about an armed robbery, police allegedly found plans of buildings and installations in his home.
A majority of the Dutch people did not support the US-led war in Iraq, while the government gave “political but not military support” to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Last summer, the government agreed to send a military force to help in the stabilisation of Iraq. There are currently 1,276 military personnel based in various locations in southern Iraq.
Recent polls showed that public opinion was divided on the issue of extending the mandate of the Dutch troops, AFP said.
A Dutch military policeman, 29, was killed when his patrol was ambushed on Saturday. Five others were seriously wounded.
Dutch prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende reacted with horror to the death of the soldier, but vowed that the Netherlands would not bow to terror and would keep its troops in Iraq.
The government has said the troops would remain in Iraq until March 2005.
In May, Sergeant Dave Steensma, 36, was the first Dutch soldier to die in Iraq when his patrol was attacked with a grenade.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news, terror threat against the Netherlands