UNCLAS THE HAGUE 003042
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: NL OREP ASEC AMGT AFIN
SUBJECT: CODEL PAYNE (DEC 10-14)
REF: SECSTATE 335631
Â¶1. Mission warmly welcomes and grants country clearance for
Rep. Donald M. Payne for travel to the Netherlands, December
11 and 14, 2003 to and from Accra, Ghana.
Â¶2. Control officer will be Special Assistant to Amb. Sobel,
David Vennett, (w) 31-70-310-9342, (h) 31-70-362-8051, (c)
31-62-221-9301 (f) 31-70-310-9348, unclass email:
Â¶3. Post provides the following threat assessment for The
Netherlands: The Department of State on November 21, 2003
issued a worldwide caution. The U.S. Government remains
deeply concerned about the U.S. citizens overseas. U.S.
citizens are cautioned to maintain a high level of vigilance,
to remain alert and to take appropriate steps to increase
their security awareness. We are seeing increasing
indications that Al-Qaida is preparing to strike U.S.
interests abroad. Al-Qaida and its associated organizations
have struck in the Middle East in Rijadh, Saudi Arabia and in
Europe in Istanbul, Turkey. We therefore assess that other
geographic locations could be venues for the next round of
attacks. We expect Al-Qaida will strive for new attacks
designed to be more devastating than the September 11 attack,
possibly involving non-conventional weapons such as chemical
or biological agents. We also cannot rule out that Al-Qaida
will attempt a second catastrophic attack within the U.S.
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. Terrorists do not distinguish between
official and civilian targets. These may include facilities
where U.S. citizens and other foreigners congregate or visit,
including residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of
worship, schools, hotels, outdoor recreation events or
resorts and beaches. U.S. citizens should remain in a
heightened state of personal security awareness when
attendance at such locations is unavoidable. Please consult
the Department's web site for text: http://travel.state.gov.
A concern for visitors is crime. Most crimes against
official Americans are limited to pick-pocketing and luggage
theft. Vandalism to and 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, are determined and well practiced at distraction
theft. Several official travelers have been victimized
lately, losing personal and 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.