1. Country Clearance is granted for Guy R. Gelfenbaum for travel to Delft, The Netherlands August 3-17, 2004.
2. Embassy understands that no assistance is requested.
3. Visitors who need unescorted access into secure areas of the Mission must provide proof of at least a secret clearance. If level of clearance was not provided in the original country clearance request it should be done by separate cable. The cable should include SSN, and the name of the agency granting the security clearance. Cables must include the ASEC Tag to ensure distribution to the RSO office.
COMPUTER and ELECTRONICS USAGE:
4. Inter-agency security standards prohibit the introduction or use of non-USG owned computer hardware and software at all USG diplomatic facilities. Cell phones, palm pilots, radios and other convenience electronics are prohibited in all secure areas of the Mission.
5. Travelers who anticipate having special needs in terms of either access or computer usage should contact the RSO office before arriving at post.
6. On July 9, 2004, the Dutch government implemented heightened security measures in response to concerns of terrorist activity. U.S. citizens in the Netherlands are encouraged to monitor media reports, and are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.
The U.S. Government remains deeply concerned about the heightened possibility of terrorist attacks against the U.S. citizens and interests abroad. As noted in the Department of State's Worldwide Caution of April 29, 2004, terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. Such targets may include facilities where U.S. citizens and other foreigners congregate or visit, including residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels and public areas. U.S. citizens should remain in a heightened state of personal security awareness when attendance at such locations is unavoidable.
Terrorist actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations, hijackings, bombings or kidnappings. These may also involve commercial aircraft and maritime interests, and threats to include conventional weapons, such as explosive devices.
A concern for visitors is a crime. Most crimes against official Americans are limited to pick-pocketing and luggage theft. Theft from automobiles and hotel rooms are not unknown. Recently, theft of laptop computers has increased, especially at Schiphol Airport and major train stations. The thieves operate in small groups that target travelers. They are determined and well practiced at distraction theft. Several official travelers have been victimized losing personal or unclassified government computers, valuable software and data. Travelers are reminded regulations require the use of the diplomatic pouch for shipment of classified equipment and information.
Streets can be walked in relative safety, but as in any U.S. urban area, caution should be exercised after dark in the more populated cities of The Hague, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam. Red-light districts and public transportation hubs are common locations for incidents of street crime.
For the latest security information, Americans living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Cautions, Public Announcements, and Travel Warnings can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or, for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-317-472-2328. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). SOBEL