Dutch government raises terrorism alert

6th March 2008, Comments 5 comments

The Dutch government says it has raised the terrorism alert level from "limited" to "substantial" because of "increased international threats", a justice ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

6 March 2008

AMSTERDAM - The Dutch government says it has raised the terrorism alert level from "limited" to "substantial" because of "increased international threats", a justice ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

The spokesman also mentioned the film about the Koran that has generated controversy and concern ahead of its release on 28 March as a factor in its decision.

The film, Fitna, was produced by legislator Geert Wilders, who is also the Netherlands' most outspoken critic of Islam. Wilders said he set out to prove the Koran is a "fascist book that incites people to commit violence" with the film.

On Friday, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende warned Wilders the release of his film might have "far-reaching security consequences" and even cause "deaths."

Balkenende called on Wilders to "take responsibility" for the possible consequences of the film.

Various Dutch employers' associations and employees unions, as well as representatives of the Protestant Church have also urged Wilders not to release the film.

Justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin, a Christian Democrat, is due to update the Parliament on the international terrorism situation on Thursday.

The first public broadcast of Fitna is expected take place in the international press centre Nieuwspoort in The Hague where heavy security measures were in place Thursday.

[Copyright dpa 2008]

3 Comments To This Article

  • Jim posted:

    on 7th March 2008, 12:23:00 - Reply

    Can the cost of the heightened terrorism alert level be claimed to Mr. Wilders? I don't like that my tax paying money goes to the consequences of this film!!!

    Even when I find freedom of speech very important, Mr. Wilders has again and again shown that all he is interested in is getting popularity votes by stepping far beyond what should be tolerated.

    Having to pay the bill for that goes to far in my opinion. If he chooses to act on his freedom of speech, he should also consider the financial consequences!
  • john doe posted:

    on 6th March 2008, 14:16:03 - Reply

    A serious Islamic atrocity on Dutch soil is probably and sadly the only thing that will wake the Dutch dhimmis up out of their TV/shopping/sport/alcohol/ addicted torpor. Or it could enslave them further keeping them in the grip of fear....just what the Islamists want.
  • john doe posted:

    on 6th March 2008, 14:04:55 - Reply

    "increased international threats" is a cover up and cowardly euphemism for Islamic threats.