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The Netherlands

Bert

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Gotta love these Stratfor articles.



Europe on Alert: The Threat to The Netherlands
Jul 16, 2004 1141 GMT

www.stratfor.com


The U.S. Embassy in The Netherlands issued a warden message on
July 15, reminding U.S. citizens of the heightened terrorism alert in
that country -- a risk rating that was raised July 10 following
intelligence gathered from phone taps involving the alleged
mastermind of the Madrid bombings, Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed.

In addition, United Nations officials said July 15 that they had received
a threatening letter -- reportedly attributed to al Qaeda -- warning of
possible strikes against European Union institutions in both Brussels and
The Hague.

U.S. intelligence sources tell Stratfor that The Netherlands is widely
viewed as a ripening target for Islamist militants, given some of the
following criteria:

The country has been a staunch ally of the United States concerning action
in Iraq and has provided more than 1,000 troops to coalition efforts there.

The current secretary-general of NATO, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, is Dutch.
Though NATO has not been involved in Iraq to date, the alliance has voiced
some willingness to engage in reconstruction efforts there. It also is heavily
involved in operations in Afghanistan, which previous al Qaeda statements
have insinuated is a basis for attack.

A Dutchman -- Jan Peter Balkenende -- currently holds the rotating presidency
of the European Council.

The Hague is home to the International Court of Justice -- a well-known
symbol of Western influence.  The Netherlands has a robust shipping industry:
Rotterdam is the world's second largest port, as measured by total cargo volume.
Threats against shipping companies have drawn increasing attention following
the activation of new port safety regulations, drafted by the International
Maritime Organization, around the world on July 1. Threats also have been
issued recently against shipping companies -- including an unnamed Dutch
firm -- doing business with the U.S. military.  Like much of Europe, The Netherlands
has a robust public transportation network -- including heavily used rail systems, which
are vulnerable soft targets.  Sources within the U.S. intelligence community say
that before the March 11 bombings in Madrid, Dutch officials did not take a
serious view of the possibility that their country could be targeted for
attack. The government now is re-evaluating that stance, but possibly is
playing catch-up on strengthening security infrastructure and procedures.

Despite the heightened threat level, The Netherlands -- unlike other European
states -- has been a backwater in terms of public arrests or interdictions of
potential militant cells. That may not be a reflection of the government's
level of interest in the issue -- Dutch intelligence officials recently told
Portuguese authorities that one of 14 Tunisian and Moroccan men arrested
in June was a suspected Islamist militant, though no one in the group ever
was charged. The Netherlands also was involved in a Europe-wide sting
operation targeting Turkish leftist groups in April. However, no publicly
announced arrests of suspected militants have occurred on Dutch soil.

Though it is possible that arrests have occurred and are being kept secret,
the absence of activity seems increasingly suspicious in light of a flurry
of counterterrorism activity through other parts of Europe. Given that
al Qaeda holds its cards close -- and the threat of attack hangs over
the entire EU, following the expiration of a three-month militant
moratorium -- it is not illogical to surmise that the group could be
distracting the attention of security agencies with "false positives"
throughout much of Europe while seeking to attack a locale where
strikes are not expected -- and where there has been a
conspicuous absence of indicators.

Someplace like The Netherlands.






 

Pieman

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I lived in the Netherlands for a little over two years, and this does not surprise me at all.

Large portions of the population in Holland are immigrants, mainly of Turkish origin. The Dutch made a huge mistake a number years ago, they brought all these people into the country for short term work projects. Since the Dutch thought that it was short term, they essentially stuck them into one or two regions of the cities and even let them set up their own school system. Mainly because they did not want them mixing with their population and going to school with their kids. It was supposed to be short term ,so they though it was the best way. This effectively segregated the immigrant population. Of course the tens of thousands of people that came to work short term ended up staying, and so did the large segregated cites. It is quite possible for a Turkish immigrant to live there without knowing Dutch or English, although most of them know both. That being said, there is some pretty high racial tension between the Dutch and these immigrant populations.

What this boils down to is a possible haven for terrorist cells. People could easily be smuggled into the country and live perfectly well inside the large dutch cities. Because of the large segregation, it makes it almost impossible for dutch authorities to know what is going on there.

As far as Holland being a target, there is enough hatred coming from the immigrant population there towards the dutch government that it would be pretty easy to find someone there willing to do the job.

In the past couple of years, the Dutch have started to show they are fed up with the situation and they are starting to make immigration laws stronger and deporting boatloads of people. As a result, the immigrant population feels very threatened right now.  Don't know if you heard about it over here, but a very up and coming politician who was very outspoken about getting rid of the population was shot to death in  while i was there. Things are really changing fast there. Holland is not the live and let live country that you hear about on TV, reality is very different.

 

Bert

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This is what I heard and not what I know.  We often hear in the news that Europe in general
takes a more liberal view of the world than the US.  Yet attitudes of a majority of the population
(not the recent immigrant population) are more conservative and nationalistic than the US but
we don't hear about it in the mainstream media.  As much as different regions of the world
have varying perspectives, major Al-Qaeda attacks in the EU will only make piss off another sleeping
giant.  Given Europe's 2 millenia of evolving history, I wonder what it will do faced with
increasing tensions like this.
 

Kirkhill

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There are a couple of big splits in Europe.  One is the Old Europe vs New Europe thing.  Call that a vertical split.  But there is also a horizontal split.

On the continent in particular there is a class of people that style themselves as "Intellectuals".  They consider themselves elite, most of them are well off and many of them are socialist.  These intellectuals have some following amongst the rest of the population but most of the population, at least the ones that I have come across from Denmark, Sweden and Italy are as conservative and unengaged as most folk in the rest of the world.

The difference between an "Intellectual" in Britain and on the continent is that if you called yourself an Intellectual in Britain you would get laughed out of the pub.  Intellectuals in Europe seemed to be allowed to indulge their conceit.

My observation is it is these Progressive Intellectuals and their great plans for "Jerusalem on Earth" and the new Utopia that we keep hearing about over here. Usually from wannabe Intellectuals that are feeling unappreciated by boorish hockey fans.  And you know who you are!!! ;D

Problem is the Intellectual class leads and makes all the decisions but the football fans .... Do they follow?  From history, and the number of revolutions, reichs, empires, border shifts etc.  you would have to say not always.

You want a practical example?  Talk to Europeans about traffic laws.  Almost all of them consider stop lights and lines in the road as guidelines, suggestions aimed at improving the other chaps driving.  Not applicable to them at all.
 
C

CDNsig

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  It's interesting that when the media talks about the threat of terrorism in Europe, the immigrant issue is never mentioned. It seems to be the elephant in the room that no one will acknowledge. Living in Germany (and about 15 minutes from the Dutch border), it isn't hard to see the effects that the bringing in of so many people as "guest workers" has had on the fabric of society. Where I live, and from what I see this seems to apply everywhere, the neighbourhoods where they live are immediately recognisable - graffiti on the walls, garbage everywhere, shabby apartment buildings, etc. In Lahr, where we Canucks used to have a military presence, after we left the German government brought in about 10000 "ethnic Germans" from the old Soviet Empire, and moved them into where the Canucks used to live. They were all given very generous subsidies to start a new life. Ten years later, almost all of them are on welfare, crime stats are through the roof, and many still can barely speak German. Most people there just wish they could send them back.
   Introducing such large numbers of foreigners into what used to be homogeneous societies has had a disasterous effect. As their population grows, their demands increase, resentment from the original inhabitants increases, and governments just pretend the problem isn't there. The Muslim immigrant populations are a particular problem for several reasons; they do not wish to assimilate, they expect society to remold itself to please them, they are usually poor, and many actively despise our Western society and values. (you scoff... does no one recall the celebrations in some European cities; the cheering and chanting after 9/11?, the howling mobs of Arab students trying to silence free speech at a certain Canadian university?) The problem will only grow with time as Muslim immigrant birthrates outstrip those of host citizens by a huge margin; there are predictions that some European countries (France for example) could have Muslim majorities in 50 to 70 years... This type of situation is a ticking time bomb, and tailor made as a breeding ground for terrorism (a basically hostile fifth column, which will aid and abet, and actively carry out terrorist acts on European soil)...
  Europe (and us as well) had better wake up and deal with this issue while we still can... The first step is to admit the problem is there...
 

Infanteer

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A scary prediction, but can this be seen as a similar phenomenon of the casual and rabid anti-Semitism that pervaded Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century in the sense that these homogenous European populations look for the "other" to target.
 

Kirkhill

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It can be considered as an "anti-ness".  But is it not foolish to consider that "otherness" is a problem. 

Especially when the "others" contain a significant body that have come into our communiities not to "be" us but to "have" what we have.

These "others" essentially have come, not for our liberties, freedoms and society but for our TVs, Cars and Nikes. 

If they don't get the goods, they may feel unjustly deprived and that we are unjustly rewarded.

That way lies trouble.  Should we screen for ideology? Should we pay "Danegeld" to keep them happy?  Can we try something else?  Should be prepare for the prospect that there may be trouble in the future, both outside and inside our borders?

I issue the usual disclaimers, I am not a racist, nor do I perceive all "others" as threats.  Many "others" do come here with the intention of "being" us and enjoying the type of society we have, or aspire to.  Likewise there are "native-born" types that would prefer to see the "system brought down".

However, we have learned how to deal with the native-born problems
and largely can accomodate them and neuter them.  Can we say the same for the current "threat"?  Do we know yet how to bring them into a discussion and get them to accept compromise?
 

Infanteer

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I issue the usual disclaimers, I am not a racist, nor do I perceive all "others" as threats.   Many "others" do come here with the intention of "being" us and enjoying the type of society we have, or aspire to.    Likewise there are "native-born" types that would prefer to see the "system brought down".

No need to issue a disclaimer.   Anyone who is willing to avoid the tough questions that face society by hiding behind an accusation of racism is nothing but another sheep in the flock.   You and I, along with others who enjoy civil debate, can say we are not of this type.

Especially when the "others" contain a significant body that have come into our communities not to "be" us but to "have" what we have.

That is an interesting way of putting it.   I would alter it to a statement of debate such as this:

"When people immigrate to Canada they should be expected to "become" Canadians rather then simply expect to "have" the rights and freedoms that Canadians do."

I can easily find the first difficulty when I bring up that tired, old question of "What is a Canadian".   I have my own idea, which I consider inclusive of all yet placing equal responsibilities on all that would seek to be a citizen.   I'm sure through concensus we could hammer out a good definition.

Beyond that, I think I would agree with the statement.   I, in someways, can consider myself a second generation Canadian.   The name I carry from my Grandfather came to Canada following the Second World War.   He is a Dane and has relatives in Denmark, but is a Canadian Citizen.   My family has adopted the customs of Canada and English as our native tongue.   We are active citizens and outside of an interest in family members back in Europe, all of our interests lie in Canada.   There is nothing wrong with celebrating your traditional cultural heritage in Canada; I think this is one of our greatest strengths here that gives us an advantage over the homogeneous societies discussed in this thread.   However, should any immigrant be expected to embrace the traditions of Canada and take part in society here as well?
 
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CDNsig

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Kirkhill and Infanteer, you both make good points...

  As far as anti Semitism goes, I don't think the comparison is apt though; European anti Semitism existed for two reasons: the first being the myth of Jews killing Christ, the second being resentment of the Jewish communities' business sense and ablility (classical anti Semitism is full of the same tired diatribes against "usury" and "conspiricy"; the idea that shadowy cabals of Jews were plotting to subvert European civilisation). All of this stemmed from religious and political leaders using anti Semitism to their own ends, to appropriate wealth or distract the masses from their own corruption, cruelty, and greed... As far as the Muslim invasion of Europe (and North America), we aren't dealing with irrational hysteria, which was the basis of anti Semitism, we are dealing with FACTS, with people who really DO despise Western civilisation, and want it to bend to their will. We have been provided with countless examples of it, their own words are filled with it. Even the "moderates" seem singularily unwilling to condemn the acts that the extremists commit... Why is this? What agenda are they trying to hide?
On the issue of "otherness", it is the right of immigrant communities to keep their traditions and customs, however, if these are in conflict with our standards of law and morality, then it is THEY who must adapt, not us. I don't think the degradation of women, FGM, and Jihad are concepts that have any place here. If "assimilation" means leaving such things in your mother country, along with ethnic hatreds, then so be it... By refusing to condemn such behavior, or remove those who promote and practice it, European and North American governments are setting precedents that are dangerous to our way of life... We must have some expected standards of values and allegiances here, and anyone who is unwilling to adapt to them should go home...   We are in danger of Balkanisation by our own hand, and our political, academic, and media elites refuse to see this, in fact, they seem to actively encourage it. Homogeneous societies are by definition relatively stable (and fit the definition of a "nation"). Societies with no common history, aspirations, and allegiances are by nature unstable; one only need to look at places such as former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, the former Soviet Union, Burundi, etc to see this is true. Is this what we want here???
 

Infanteer

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As far as anti Semitism goes, I don't think the comparison is apt though; European anti Semitism existed for two reasons: the first being the myth of Jews killing Christ, the second being resentment of the Jewish communities' business sense and ablility (classical anti Semitism is full of the same tired diatribes against "usury" and "conspiricy"; the idea that shadowy cabals of Jews were plotting to subvert European civilisation). All of this stemmed from religious and political leaders using anti Semitism to their own ends, to appropriate wealth or distract the masses from their own corruption, cruelty, and greed...

I fully understand the differences, my comparison was to highlight the fact that the societies in Europe seem to find an "other" within their nations to direct their energy towards.

As far as the Muslim invasion of Europe (and North America), we aren't dealing with irrational hysteria, which was the basis of anti Semitism, we are dealing with FACTS, with people who really DO despise Western civilisation, and want it to bend to their will. We have been provided with countless examples of it, their own words are filled with it. Even the "moderates" seem singularily unwilling to condemn the acts that the extremists commit... Why is this? What agenda are they trying to hide?

I don't know if I would want to paint with that broad of a brush.   I would be willing to bet that the poor peasent family from the backwater of Anatolia, although maybe not up to the sophisticated "civilized" standards of a Berliner, is probably seeking to get away from an oppressive government and abject poverty rather than to "bend Western civilization to their will".

On the issue of "otherness", it is the right of immigrant communities to keep their traditions and customs, however, if these are in conflict with our standards of law and morality, then it is THEY who must adapt, not us. I don't think the degradation of women, FGM, and Jihad are concepts that have any place here. If "assimilation" means leaving such things in your mother country, along with ethnic hatreds, then so be it... By refusing to condemn such behavior, or remove those who promote and practice it, European and North American governments are setting precedents that are dangerous to our way of life... We must have some expected standards of values and allegiances here, and anyone who is unwilling to adapt to them should go home...   We are in danger of Balkanisation by our own hand, and our political, academic, and media elites refuse to see this, in fact, they seem to actively encourage it. Homogeneous societies are by definition relatively stable (and fit the definition of a "nation"). Societies with no common history, aspirations, and allegiances are by nature unstable; one only need to look at places such as former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, the former Soviet Union, Burundi, etc to see this is true. Is this what we want here???

This reinforces my earlier point.   You'll noticed what I emphasised in your statement.   Despite what the relatavists and their non-definitions of the "mosaic" Canadian society, there are some hard and fast rules that mainstream Canadians will not tolerate being bent.   We are, and should be, a melting pot; perhaps not as hot as others, but a melting pot nonetheless.   This is why I oppose many of the notions of Native "self-government" that seem to be popular right now; seeing it in practice in some communities in BC only highlights the dangerous road these precedents may bring us down.
 

Kirkhill

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I would be willing to bet that the poor peasent family from the backwater of Anatolia, although maybe not up to the sophisticated "civilized" standards of a Berliner, is probably seeking to get away from an oppressive government and abject poverty rather than to "bend Western civilization to their will".

I don't disagree with you here Infanteer, in the sense that "the poor peasant family" is trying to get away from oppression and poverty.   Not a problem.   Most welcome to come to Vancouver and hang out here.   But suppose the father gets here and discovers that his son starts hanging around bars and drinking, his wife forswears the Hijab (not popular in Anatolia anyway I know, I am stretching a point) and his daughter takes to hanging around Wreck Beach starkers and gets knocked up by a nice Jewish boy she met there while eating a pork sausage.   All permissible decisions in our society.   But they challenge the father's traditional   beliefs, his authority and his honour and his families honour.   Back home (again maybe not so much in Anatolia, lets try Herat) he might be inclined to beat his wife, sell off his son and kill his daughter.   Not approved methods of solving domestic disputes in Canada.  

It seems to me that at very least we should put it to prospective immigrants/refugees that if you come to Canada these are the types of situations you will have to put up with.   In trade you are not beholden to the village headman and get to make your own decisions and keep 50 cents of every dollar you make for yourself (I AM THE TAXMAN, I AM THE TAXMAN.... ;D).

Otherwise we are bringing in a lot of potentially disgruntled residents who will have trouble assimilating, will not achieve the material status anticipated and end up impoverished and depressed with no support mechanism.   Ripe for the pickings.

And those offering support are those that CdnSigs describes, paraphrasing, as having a hate-on for the west.   They exist, demonstrably and they are looking to find a following.

They already have a following outside our borders.   These are hard enough to deal with.   How much harder is it to deal with residents/citizens that are not gruntled?

If we are going to keep accepting immigrants to fill jobs that need filled because we didn't have enough kids, (I guess the Club of Rome reports didn't make it out to the villages in Afghanistan, despite 25 years of war they seem to have had no trouble generating new generations) if we are going to keep doing that then the very least we could do is show them how truly "depraved" our society is and demand an undertaking that they accept us warts and all.  

Even if it results in creating more enemies beyond our borders, by confirming we are everything that Osama claims we are.   Better that we have known enemies beyond our borders, than unhappy potential enemies within our borders.

Short form, I am more in favour of expending Canadian money to establish safe havens in foreign lands, protected by the Canadian flag, and to supply an economy that allows people to buy TVs, Cars and Nikes, than I am in favour of bringing refugees into Canada.   I would rather that they have the opportunity to continue to "be" themselves amongst their own people while "having" the things they wish than bringing them to Canada, with the spurious promise of being able to "have" the things they want but only on the grounds that the cannot "be" themselves.

That of course begs the question, is what they "are" good or desirable?   And I beg the question advisedly.   The problem that we are facing right now is because "others" are asking that question of us, and finding us wanting.   They don't   like our Canadian Values.   We don't like some of their values.   This results in conflict, particularly if all that separates those opposed values is a garden fence.   Far better to let borders and distance act as buffers, to buy us some time so that we can come some mutually acceptable accomodation.  

One of the problems that we face is that our "beliefless" society doesn't recognize that not having a belief, is actually a belief in itself.   And others see our promotion of our secular, "beliefless" system as an imposition as great as we perceive the imposition of Catholicism, Presbyterianism, Judaism or Islam.

Kind of like when I came to Canada, everybody asked me why I spoke with an accent.   I told them I was having trouble picking up their Canadian accent. It came as a major shock to my classmates that they had an accent at all.

 
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CDNsig

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For the most part, I would say we are singing in the same choir...

Unfortunately, the powers that be are not; debate on issues like this isn't happening in our society. There are certain groups (the immigration industry, the do-gooders of the left, and in the case of ethnic groups, their community "leaders"), that are vehemently opposed to ANY debate. The nations of the West are being changed beyond recognition, perhaps forever, without the consent of the citizens affected. That is the problem; no one is willing to stand up and say "this is Canada/Germany/Holland/France, etc, we have built this country, we like it the way it is, and this is the way it will stay"... Anyone who dares to question present immigration and multicultural policies is immediately shouted down as a "racist". National governments, the UN, and the EU are to blame for this pathetic situation; we will all be shoved into the elite's "one world mold" of cultural relativism whether we like it or not, because these issues in their minds are not about fairness, equality, or altruism, but about power...
 As this goes on, the Bin Ladens of the world laugh on the sidelines at our wilful stupidity and plan the next outrage, safe in the knowledge that Western civilisation is so afraid of offending immigrant minorities that it will not take action to defend itself. We have no way of really knowing if that "poor peasant from Anatolia" is legitimate, or here to kill us, so we look the other way and keep telling ourselves, "multiculturalism is good"...
 All this is aided and abetted by a collection of Middle Eastern and African governments who are more than happy to see their citizens rage against us, because it distracts them from the lives of oppression, poverty, and misery that these same governments have created in their mother countries (seems to be a parallel with the old European anti Semitism there). We are being used as the "other" by these people; we are the cause of all their problems, the root of all evil. There can be no compromise against those who think like this; the people of Europe are finally starting to wake up to this fact. The hijab issue in France, and the rising share of votes being garnered by anti immigration and anti EU parties show this clearly. The problem is, their immigrant populations have reached a critical mass, their politicians are out of touch, and the native born European population is dropping.
 Our education in these issues is not as advanced, because things are not as bad here yet, but this will change. Things like rising crime, strained infrastructure, racial and gang attacks, and bankrupt social programs are already reality in Toronto especially. Eventually Canadians are going to start asking "why?", and "what is happening here?", but I don't expect we will get any straight answers from the Circus on the Rideau...
 

Kirkhill

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Agreed CdnSigs.  We do seem to have the same hymn book.  And I think Infanteer is pretty much on the same wavelength as well.

Cheers ;)
 

Kirkhill

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"What we see is that people who have been cooperating are participating and those who aren't cooperating are declining to attend," asks Mr. Khafaji. "Either we were going to have a conference where everyone from the extreme religious establishment to the extreme liberals [font=Verdanawere going to come in, or else there's no point in having it."[/quote]

http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0729/p01s04-woiq.htm

Just found this interesting in light of the comments posted here.

Confirmation that "liberalism", which sees itself as the essence of moderation, can be seen by others as an "extreme" position.

Curious, No?



 

Pieman

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This seems very interesting.  Sounds like the only reason the police there uncovered the plot is because they got very lucky. Like I mentioned in my previous post, authorities don't seem to have much knowledge or control in these large communities. If I discover more info on the topic I will post here.

==========================================================
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2004/09/12/dutchplot040912.html
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Dutch make more arrests in plot to attack key sites
Last Updated Sun, 12 Sep 2004 18:23:06 EDT
AMSTERDAM - Dutch authorities says they have arrested more suspects in a plot to attack key sites in the country, including Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

Last week Dutch prosecutors said they had uncovered plans for the attacks. They identified Schiphol, one of Europe's busiest airports, as a target, along with a nuclear power plant, the country's Parliament building and the Defence Ministry in The Hague.

The plot came to light after police searched the home of a teenager who was arrested in June in connection with an armed robbery investigation.

They found evidence linking him to plans for an unspecified attack.

Neither the Dutch Justice Ministry, nor the police prosecutors have commented on the new arrests.

Written by CBC News Online staff
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

Acorn

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I think some of you would be amazed at how this sort of discussion occurs outside of our tiny little world here. As well, I think you'd be amazed at what "liberal" opinion can come up with.

Example:

A very left wing immigration officer of my acquaintance related the following:
She had just informed an Arab Muslim applicant that he would not likely meet the criteria for entry into Canada based on what he had told her. He demanded to "see than MAN who makes the decisions" (emphasis mine.) It spiralled down from there. He did not get a visa.

Of interest though: immigration officers used to have a subjective criterion called "adaptability" which they could use as a basis for refusal. In the case above it would be clear that the individual would have trouble with a common Canadian phenomenon: a female boss. They no longer have that level of flexibility, primarily, I think, due to some spectacularly poor decisions (and notes) made by some immigration officers.

Acorn
 

Pieman

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Not sure if Canadian news has reported this stuff yet but Dutch news says that four more people have been arrested in connection to the first arrest. Source of my information is here below. It is in Dutch only, sorry.

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http://www.nos.nl/nieuws/artikelen/2004/9/12/meerarrestatiesnaterreurdreiging.html

http://www.nos.nl/nieuws/artikelen/2004/9/13/vierterroristengepakt.html

http://www.nos.nl/nieuws/artikelen/2004/9/8/aanslagvoorbereidopschiphol.html
-----------------------------------

Effectively, four more people were arrested in addition to the first arrest and according to the lawyer of one of them, they are suspected of: preparation of murder, arson, causing an explosion, having arms without having a license. There are some conflicting reports about whether or not these people are still in custody.

The first guy who was arrested was an 18 year old Moroccan and in his house they also found a silencer,  bulletproof vest, night vision goggles. Most frightening they found HCl and NH3, or in short material to make a bomb.

The last article I showed says that all five of these people were arrested earlier this year over the course of June/July for being suspects in radical Muslim terrorist networks. But they had to let them all go because there was no evidence against them.

Ultimately they are accused of planning attacks on the Shiphool Airport, The Dutch Ministry of Defence, AIVD (Dutch version of the CIA), and I believe the Dutch Parliament (written as 'tweede kamer', which i believe is the name of thier Parliament)

The Dutch government says it is going to make another major announcement about this situation in the next couple of days. It will be really interesting to see what is going to happen over there.

 

Pieman

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This was a few days ago, but pretty scary stuff.

Police in tense 'terror' stand-off in The Hague
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10 November 2004

AMSTERDAM â ” Dutch special forces locked down a suburb in The Hague on Wednesday in a tense stand-off with suspected terrorists after three police officers were hurt in an explosion.

The members of the specialist arrest team were injured by a hand grenade when they attempted to carry out an anti-terrorist raid on a building in The Hague in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

News agency ANP later reported that the officers had opened a booby trapped door, but Radio 1 said it could not immediately verify the report. Authorities have confirmed that a hand grenade was thrown at the police officers.

All three police officers expected to live, but two of them suffered serious injuries to legs and stomach. The third has already been released from hospital.

Police immediately sealed of the area after the explosion and revealed at a press conference at 9.50am that several suspects were still in the building. Every effort was being made to end the stand-off safely for everyone concerned, officials said.

A no-fly zone has also been introduced over the city.

The authorities refused to reveal how many suspects were still in the building, but confirmed a crisis centre had been established to co-ordinate further operations.

The explosion took place in the Antheunisstraat in the Laakkwartier district of the city as the arrest team moved in to detain a suspect. The arrest was ordered by the National Detective Unit, or Nationale Recherche, which is involved in investigating serious and organised crime.

Residents claim the operation started just after 2.30am, with one local telling news agency ANP that the suburb were woken by a loud explosion. "At 3am there was another explosion and shouting. At about 3.30am, we also heard shooting," the resident said.

One man â ” dressed only in underwear â ” was seen being escorted by two police officers in bullet proof vests to a police van on the Lorentzplein at about 8am. Authorities later revealed he had not been arrested.

Residents from nearby homes in the Laakkwartier area of The Hague have been evacuated and taken by bus to the district council office in Laak.

The identity of anyone attempting to leave the district is being checked by police. People not listed as a local resident in the council's population register risk being detained for questioning.

The immediate vicinity has been sealed off and police in bullet proof vests are diverting traffic away from the scene. All tram traffic is being diverted also.

Tanks are being deployed in the area and the suspected terrorists are said to be entrenched in the building. They are also suspected of having more explosives.

Ambulances and fire fighting trucks have arrived at the scene, while the air space above The Hague has been closed by order of authorities until further notice.

The no-fly zone instigated in The Hague bans airplanes from flying lower than 700m above the ground in a 7km radius around the Laak district. This means airline flights to and from Schiphol in Amsterdam will not be affected.

Members of the marine's special forces unit BBE were involved in the police operation. The BBE is primarily involved in combating hijackings, kidnappings and other terrorist actions. The soldiers are heavily armed.

Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner is being informed of developments.

Also, The Hague Mayor Wim Deetman, national prosecution office chief Marc van Erve, city police chief Gerard Bouman and The Hague chief public prosecutor Han Moraal gave a brief press conference close to 10am on Wednesday.

The overriding message of the press conference was that police were still locked in a stand-off with the suspected terrorists. Whether the suspects have been implicated into the investigation into the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh or other cases, was not immediately known.

The so-called "national triangle" â ” consisting of the director-general of safety at the Interior Ministry, the director-general of the maintenance of law at the Justice Ministry and the National-Co-ordinator for Surveillance and Security (under the authority of both ministries) â ” is also being kept up to speed.

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende described the explosion as "extraordinarily sad".

"This indicates we are in an atmosphere of hardening. There is every reason to condemn this sort of thing forcefully. Everyone is needed in this. In this manner [referring to the violence] we are busy being non-Dutch," he said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
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