News of: Monday, March 16 2009,

Terrorist threat might be fake - Moroccan community frustrated

The terrorist threat that surfaced last Wednesday, may not have been a threat at all.

The threat caused the police to evacuate the shopping area near the Amsterdam Arena Stadium. The shops, and some offices, had to remain closed on Thursday, but could already open again on Friday.

Seven arrests were made in Amsterdam, and several apartments were searched. All 7 people arrested are of Moroccan origin, one of them appears to be a family member of one of the Moroccans who took part in the 2004 Madrid terrorist train attacks.

However, explosives or terrorist plans were never found, nor did the 7 appear to be fundamentalist muslims. They were subsequently released the next day, and are no longer suspects.

Police investigations now concentrate on the phone call that came in on March 11, on which the evacuation was based. Police say that the call was made by a Dutch-speaking woman. She knew details of the 2004 attacks in Madrid that hardly anyone knows, according to the police, could mention various names and addresses, and sounded generally coherent.
A Belgian tv station, on the other hand, reported that the woman was 'unstable' (but it is unknown how they know this).

The Moroccan community in Amsterdam says that the police actions were 'adequate', but they are disgruntled with the negative effect on the image of the Moroccan community as a whole.

Some experts say that police overreacted in this case, but the police say that there was enough reason to believe an attack might happen.