VZCZCXRO0520 RR RUEHAT DE RUEHTC #1908/01 2421141 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 301141Z AUG 06 FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6682 INFO RUEHAT/AMCONSUL AMSTERDAM 1313
1. Post welcomes the September 2-4, 2006 visit to the
Netherlands of Representative Ted Poe and Dr. Carol Statuto
Bevan, House International Relations Committee, to
investigate European anti-terror efforts, immigration
policies, and flood control efforts.
2. Hotel reservations have been made for two single rooms
for the nights of September 2 and 3 in the Hotel Sofitel in
Amsterdam on Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 67, 1012 RE, Amsterdam
- Phone: (31) (20) 627-5900; Fax: (31) (20) 623-8932.
3. Control officer for the visit is Vice Consul Christopher
J. Degnan - office phone: 31 (20) 575-5334; Cell phone:
(31) (20) 62 237-2084. Mr. Degnan has been in touch with
Congressional staffers and is setting up meetings requested
4. Since July 9, 2004, the Dutch Government has 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.
5. Tensions in the Netherlands are high, sparked by the
November 2, 2004 murder of a Dutch film producer known for
his outspoken criticism of Islam; and by the November 10,
2004 raid on a home of suspected terrorists, which led to an
all-day standoff and ended with the arrest of three
individuals and non-fatal injuries to the suspects and the
police. Subsequent arrests were made in connection to this
raid and further investigation revealed that these suspects
had ties to known terrorist groups. These events initiated
a GoN-wide overhaul of its Counter-Terrorism measures,
including providing more resources to combat violent Islamic
radicalism. There have been a series of protests and arson
attacks directed at mosques and Islamic schools in the
Netherlands, plus retaliatory actions against several
churches. American citizens should bear in mind that even
demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn
confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.
American citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of
demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if
within the vicinity of any demonstrations.
6. The U.S. Government remains deeply concerned about the
heightened possibility of terrorist attacks against U.S.
citizens and interests abroad. As noted in the Department
of State's Worldwide Caution of September 10, 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. Terrorist actions may
include, but are not limited to, suicide operations,
assassination, hijackings, bombings or kidnappings. These
may involve aviation and other transportation and maritime
7. An area of concern for visitors to the Netherlands is
crime. Most crimes against official Americans are limited
to pick-pocketing and purse 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.
Official travelers have been victimized, losing personal or
unclassified government computers, software and data.
Travelers are reminded that regulations require the use of
the diplomatic pouch for shipment of classified equipment
8. Streets can be walked in relative safety but, as in any
U.S. urban area, caution and vigilance should be exercised
especially 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 crimes.
9. For the latest security information, Americans living
and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the
Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet web sit 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 I the U.S.,
line at 1-317-472-2328. These numbers are available from
THE HAGUE 00001908 002 OF 002
8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday
(except U.S. federal holidays).