Netherlands amends terror alert - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Netherlands amends terror alert

21/05/2010 06:41:24 AM Comments (0)

The Netherlands said on Thursday it had received intelligence reports of "a threat against Dutch interests in South Africa" and amended its terror alert for travel to the World Cup host nation.

"We received information from our intelligence services... of a threat against Dutch interests in South Africa," during the World Cup, foreign ministry spokesman Ozlem Canel told AFP.

The decision followed the arrest of an Al-Qaeda suspect earlier this month in Iraq who was accused of planning an attack during the football World Cup which kicks off in South Africa next month.

"We were informed of the man who was arrested in Iraq, and of what he said," she added, referring to the 30-year-old Saudi national and Al-Qaeda militant.

The National Coordinator for Counterterrorism (NCTB) and the General (non-military) Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) furthermore informed the government "that there were no concrete plans for an attack," said Canel.

The ministry nevertheless decided, in consultation with the two bodies, to change the travel advice for South Africa "as a result of this information", she said.

"There was a general travel advice before, for certain cities where the Dutch team would be playing, certain neighbourhoods that should be avoided. Now we are telling our citizens to be extra vigilant in the whole of South Africa."

The advice itself, posted on the ministry's website, modifies the "terrorism" category.

While the terror threat on Dutch soil was limited, "Dutch interests in other countries are vulnerable," it states, without giving any reasons.

"This also applies for Dutch interests during the World Cup in South Africa. We advise visitors to South Africa, in particular those who will attend World Cup matches and other events concerning the Dutch eleven, to be vigilant."

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