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Viewing cable 06THEHAGUE2277, SCENESETTER FOR ATT...

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06THEHAGUE2277 2006-10-19 15:03 2011-01-17 19:07 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy The Hague
VZCZCXRO4671
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTC #2277/01 2921525
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191525Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7164
INFO RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHAT/AMCONSUL AMSTERDAM 1618
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 THE HAGUE 002277 
 
SIPDIS 
 
JUSTICE FOR OIA-JFRIEDMAN 
JUSTICE FOR ANDREW BEACH, THERESA PAGLIOCCA 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: OVIP PTER SNAR PREL PGOV KJUS PINR NL
SUBJECT:  SCENESETTER FOR ATT...

ARNALL 
",
82501,10/19/2006 15:25,06THEHAGUE2277,"Embassy The Hague",UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY,,"VZCZCXRO4671
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTC #2277/01 2921525
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191525Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7164
INFO RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHAT/AMCONSUL AMSTERDAM 1618","UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 THE HAGUE 002277 
 
SIPDIS 
 
JUSTICE FOR OIA-JFRIEDMAN 
JUSTICE FOR ANDREW BEACH, THERESA PAGLIOCCA 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: OVIP PTER SNAR PREL PGOV KJUS PINR NL
SUBJECT:  SCENESETTER FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES VISIT TO 
THE NETHERLANDS, OCTOBER 25-27, 2006 
 
 
THE HAGUE 00002277  001.2 OF 005 
 
 
1. (SBU) We warmly welcome your visit to the Netherlands, 
the first by an Attorney General since Attorney General 
Aschroft visited in September 2004.  There are four 
important issues where you can advance our law enforcement 
agenda:  (1) Establish a strong working relationship with 
new Minister of Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin; (2) Launch a 
new bilateral dialogue on cyber crime, a major issue for 
both us and the Dutch; (3) Review with Eurojust the new 
relationship we will have as a result of our recently 
negotiated MOU; and (4) Engage in robust press outreach that 
emphasizes our common goals and answers our many critics 
here.  Accordingly, your schedule is built around a working 
lunch with Minister Hirsch Ballin, meetings with Interior 
Minister Remkes and Eurojust president Kennedy, and your 
welcoming address to the cyber crime conference.  We have 
also scheduled a press conference, a television interview 
and a one-on-one interview with the best weekly magazine in 
the Netherlands. 
 
Overview 
-------- 
 
2. (SBU) Dutch Parliamentary elections will be held on 
November 22.  The race appears to be a dead heat between 
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's center-right coalition 
and the left-of-center Labor party.  Balkenende came to 
power in 2001, but his government collapsed in August over a 
dispute regarding Dutch Parliamentarian Aayan Hirsi Ali's 
asylum application.  The Somali-born politician - a vocal 
critic of extreme Islam - is now in the United States with 
the American Enterprise Institute.  How to provide her 
adequate protection in Washington is the subject of 
continuing discussions between us and the Dutch, and the 
issue may come up during your visit as Hirsch Ballin is the 
key Dutch decision maker on this issue. 
 
3. (U) Aside from the elections, the most significant news 
here is the Dutch economy, which has come to life in recent 
months.  Current projections show the economy growing at a 
rate of nearly 3 percent with unemployment falling below 5.5 
percent.  The economy is outperforming Eurozone averages for 
the first time in seven years. 
 
4. (SBU) Our relations with the Dutch are excellent, aside 
from Guantanamo and negative public opinion of Iraq and 
other policies.  The Dutch are strong allies in the Global 
War on Terrorism, and currently have nearly 2,000 troops 
deployed in the heart of southern Afghanistan, where the 
Taliban are seeking to make a comeback.  A Dutch contingent 
also served in the early stages of the Iraq war.  Although 
they do not approve of our policies at Guantanamo, they are 
one of the few European countries engaging in serious 
dialogue on the issue with us.  Commercial relations are 
strong, with heavy U.S. investment in the Netherlands and 
heavy Dutch investment in the United States.  In your 
meetings and public remarks it will be important to 
emphasize the breadth of our cooperation and how much we 
value the Netherlands as a partner. 
 
5. (SBU) Law enforcement cooperation is good and getting 
better.  While Dutch and EU data protection (privacy) rules 
and bureaucratic restrictions continue to hamper some direct 
police-to-police cooperation and information sharing, we 
have made significant progress in the last two years to 
advance our law enforcement priorities with the Dutch.  We 
expect interim Justice Minister Hirsch Ballin to continue 
former Minister Piet Hein Donner's pro-cooperation approach 
with us. 
 
Law Enforcement Presence 
------------------------ 
 
6. (SBU) Our law enforcement presence here has tripled since 
9/11 and now constitutes a strong platform for our extensive 
law enforcement and counter-terrorism agenda with the Dutch, 
and for our nascent relationship with EUROPOL and Eurojust. 
Four U.S. law enforcement agencies operate from the Embassy, 
and represent 10 percent of the entire mission staff. 
 
-- DEA: The six-person office focuses on cocaine and ecstasy 
trafficking and works closely with the Dutch and other DEA 
offices in Europe and South America.  The Dutch are 
facilitating information sharing and allowing some 
controlled delivery operations for the first time.  The DEA 
office here is tied with Madrid as the largest in Western 
 
THE HAGUE 00002277  002.2 OF 005 
 
 
Europe. 
 
-- FBI: The bureau is represented by a Special Agent who was 
permanently assigned to The Hague in October 2005.  Since 
his arrival, there has been a dramatic increase in the level 
of cooperation between Dutch national police (KLDP) and 
intelligence service (AIVD) on information and intelligence 
sharing, cooperation on international investigations, and 
the initiation of joint investigations.  The Dutch have 
requested FBI assistance in cases ranging from the Hofstad 
Group (a home-grown terrorist cell) to the Natalee Holloway 
disappearance in Aruba.  The Legatt has direct access to the 
KLPD's counterterrorism unit, allowing him to be involved in 
all criminal counter-terrorism investigations.  Counter- 
terrorism and cyber crime are the two largest parts of FBI's 
portfolio here. 
 
-- DHS: Homeland Security is the largest U.S. law 
enforcement agency in the Netherlands.  DHS officers are 
stationed at the Port of Rotterdam and Schiphol Airport to 
scan cargo and check passengers destined for the United 
States.  DHS has 14 staff in the Netherlands, with plans to 
add at least two more in the coming year.  The DHS office 
covers Belgium and Luxembourg in addition to the 
Netherlands. 
 
-- Secret Service:  The service has one special agent 
stationed at EUROPOL with a primary focus on counterfeit 
currency.  His relations with EUROPOL colleagues are 
excellent.  The office was established in 2005. 
 
-- The Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Agency is 
planning to assign an officer here starting in FY 2007.  The 
Postal Inspection Service has also expressed interest in 
establishing a presence here. 
 
Counter Terrorism 
----------------- 
 
7. (SBU) The Dutch have strengthened their counter-terrorism 
capabilities since 9/11 in three significant ways.  First, 
they passed tough new legislation that provided new counter- 
terrorism tools for police and prosecutors, increased 
penalties for crimes committed with ""terrorist intent,"" made 
conspiracy to commit a terrorist offense a crime, and 
criminalized financial support for banned terrorist 
organizations on UN and EU asset freeze lists.  As of 
January 1, 2005, every person over the age of 14 in the 
Netherlands is obligated to carry valid identification and 
the police can demand that identification at any time.  More 
recent legislation has given prosecutors the ability to 
introduce classified material and sources into court 
proceedings, and expanded the ability of law enforcement 
agencies to share data.  The conviction of nine members of 
the Hofstad group in March marked the first successful 
prosecution in the Netherlands for membership in a terrorist 
organization, under 2004 legislation making such membership 
a criminal offence. 
 
8. (SBU) As with us, new terrorism laws have been 
accompanied by increased attention to immigration. 
Backlash about a growing immigrant population helped bring 
Balkenende to power in 2001.  New immigration laws are very 
strict and include a requirement for immigrant visa 
applicants to pass an exam on Dutch history and culture and 
to learn Dutch.  The exam was so difficult that many Dutch 
natives failed the exam.  As a result of these strict laws, 
immigration is significantly down.  The number of foreign 
marriage partners and children immigrating to the 
Netherlands has fallen by 50 percent over the past two 
years. 
 
9. (SBU) Second, the Dutch created a new agency specifically 
charged with coordinating counter-terrorism policy: The 
Office of the National Counter Terrorism Coordinator (NCTB) 
reports jointly to Hirsch Ballin and Remkes.  It became 
operational in January 2005 and is mandated with 
coordinating counter-terrorism efforts, including 
facilitating cooperation among the police, intelligence and 
prosecution services.  Like all new government agencies, the 
NCTB suffers from unclear lines of authority.  The CT 
Coordinator, Tjibbe Joustra, reports to both the Justice 
Minister, the designated coordinating minister for 
counterterrorism, and the Interior Minister, who oversees 
the police and the AIVD domestic intelligence service.  The 
 
THE HAGUE 00002277  003.2 OF 005 
 
 
merger of the Justice and Interior ministries into one 
""super ministry"" for security was proposed in 2005, but 
consideration of the idea has been deferred until the new 
government takes office.  In addition to creating the NCTB 
the Dutch have significantly expanded their military and 
civilian intelligence bureaus. 
 
10. (SBU) Third, the Dutch have greatly expanded cooperation 
with the United States, Britain and others.  They have been 
strong partners with us on border security initiatives, and 
were the first in Europe to host DHS's Container Security 
Initiative (CSI) and the Immigration Advisory Program. 
Schiphol Airport was willing to share passenger data with 
us, even in the face of EU criticism.  The Port of Rotterdam 
was also criticized by the EU for being the first to adopt 
CSI; other European ports claimed it was an unfair trade 
advantage. 
 
11. (SBU) The government's quarterly terrorist threat 
assessment released October 16 maintained the threat level 
at ""substantial,"" the second highest of four threat levels. 
Substantial is defined as a ""realistic threat of an attack"" 
in the Netherlands or on Dutch interests abroad.  The report 
highlights continuing concern about radicalization among the 
Dutch Muslim population as a factor in the assessment.  The 
Muslim community in the Netherlands is the second largest in 
Europe as a percentage of the population (5.8 percent), and 
is one of the least well integrated in Europe. 
 
Counter Narcotics 
----------------- 
 
12. (SBU) We have made significant strides in counter 
narcotics cooperation with the Dutch.  DEA has successfully 
co-located special agents in two KLDP National Crime Squad 
(NR) units, dealing with cocaine and synthetic drug 
investigations.  Co-location has greatly enhanced effective 
cooperation, in particular police-to-police intelligence 
sharing, and has helped to link Dutch drug investigations to 
major ongoing DEA international operations.  Since 2005, DEA 
has been able to conduct controlled delivery (CD) operations 
without a formal MLAT request. 
 
13. (SBU) Our main concern over the past five years has been 
stemming the flood of ecstasy from the Netherlands to the 
United States.  Through combined efforts by DEA and Dutch 
authorities, the number of ecstasy tablets seized in the 
United States that could be traced to the Netherlands 
dropped from over 5 million a year in the early 2000s to 
roughly 200,000 in 2004.  Dutch efforts against ecstasy were 
commended by President Bush in the 2006 International 
Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR).  Cooperation 
against synthetic drug trafficking will likely remain our 
top focus in the foreseeable future. 
 
14. (SBU) Police-to-police sharing goes both ways with the 
Dutch.  As a result of the October 2004 MOU between the KLDP 
and the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), the KLDP can now 
run intelligence checks through the EPIC Watch Center 24 
hours a day; the KLPD is the only European police agency 
with such access.  EPIC access has helped foster closer 
police-to-police intelligence sharing.  For example, the 
Dutch have agreed to share names on the ""blacklist"" of drug 
couriers arrested at Schiphol airport; as a result, over 
6,000 drug couriers have been entered into DEA databases. 
Since May 2005, the Dutch have participated in DEA's 
International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC) as 
observers; they will become a full IDEC member at the next 
conference in Madrid in May 2007. 
 
Cyber Crime 
----------- 
 
15. (U) The bilateral cyber crime conference that you will 
open with Hirsch Ballin and the Ambasasdor on October 26 
will bring together 40 U.S. and Dutch policy-makers, 
prosecutors and police for in-depth discussions on effective 
approaches to combating cyber crime.  In addition to 
detailed discussions of mechanisms for effective cooperation 
on cyber crime, the conference will include sessions on 
combating use of the Internet for child pornography, 
terrorism and radicalization, and scams and frauds.  U.S 
delegates include DOJ prosecutors, cyber crime and 
international affairs experts, and FBI, Secret Service, and 
DHS officials. 
 
THE HAGUE 00002277  004.2 OF 005 
 
 
 
16. (U) Long the gateway to Europe via sea and air, the 
Netherlands is quickly becoming a digital gateway as well. 
It now tops the world in broadband internet penetration, 
along with South Korea.  Because of the high connectivity of 
the country, the Dutch allocate substantial energy to 
combating child pornography, internet radicalization and on- 
line scams and frauds.  The National Prosecutor just 
released a four-year strategy that identifies cyber crime as 
one of his four priority law enforcement areas.  The FBI 
Legatt spends nearly half his time working on cyber crime 
cases.  The national police are forming a new high tech 
crime squad to investigate complex cyber crime cases.  Dutch 
prosecutors uncovered and are in the process of prosecuting 
one of the largest hacking cases to date. Cases like these 
will be discussed during the conference and help both 
countries develop a better understanding of what is required 
to combat cyber crime. 
 
Extraditions 
------------ 
 
17. (SBU) We have an active extradition portfolio with the 
Dutch that generally runs smoothly, although sometimes 
slowly.  Extraditions cover a wide array of crimes, many 
drug-related.  So far this year, 8 suspects have been 
extradited.  Two high-profile cases merit your attention, 
the first involving a terror suspect, the second involving a 
well-known Dutch business executive whom we have indicted on 
corruption charges. 
 
18. (SBU) The terror case concerns Iraqi-born Dutch citizen 
Wesam Al Delaema.  Al Delaema is the first individual to be 
indicted in a U.S. criminal case for terrorist activities -- 
conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens and bomb U.S. property -- 
in Iraq.  On October 11, Justice Minister Hirsch Ballin 
approved the extradition to the U.S. of Al Delaema.  In the 
extradition order, the Minister strongly refuted allegations 
by the defense and some opposition parliamentarians that, as 
a terror suspect, Al Delaema would not get a fair trail in 
the U.S.  Specifically, the Minister indicated he saw no 
reason ""not to trust the U.S."" to meet its commitments. Al 
Delaema's attorney has filed a request for an injunction 
against the extradition order.  We expect the Court to 
reject the request; resolution of the case will likely take 
two to three months, after which Al Delaema can be 
extradited. 
 
19. (SBU) The well-connected Dutch business executive, 
Frederik Pluimers, was indicted in the U.S. on Foreign 
Corrupt Practices Act violations.  Although the Dutch 
Supreme Court in 2003 cleared the way for his extradition, 
the government has not taken any action to complete his 
extradition.  Pluimers is wanted, in his capacity as the 
director of the U.S. subsidiary of Seybolt International, in 
connection with bribes paid to Panamanian officials in 1995. 
Pluimers is very well regarded in Dutch business and 
political circles, however, and former Justice Minister 
Donner deferred action on his extradition in light of 
opposition from fellow Cabinet ministers.  Foreign Minister 
Bot wrote former Deputy Secretary of State Zoellick in late 
2005 to request that the USG drop its extradition request 
for Pluimers; following interagency consultation, Zoellick 
responded that we would not drop the request.  There has 
been no further action on the case. 
 
Detainee Issues 
--------------- 
 
20. (SBU) The Dutch in general strongly oppose our detainee 
policies and Guantanamo, although we are making progress 
convincing them that the issues are far more complex than is 
often portrayed in public debates.  Foreign Minister Bot has 
called for the closure of Guantanamo, insisting detainees 
there are in a legal black hole.  He has also condemned the 
use of secret prisons.  In response to parliamentary 
demands, he called at the EU Foreign Ministers meeting in 
September for a resolution condemning the secret sites.  He 
has offered Dutch assistance in developing a detainee policy 
that satisfies international legal norms as the Dutch see 
them.  State Department Legal Advisor John Bellinger visited 
the Netherlands October 10-12 to discuss detainee policy, 
the recently-passed Military Commissions Act, U.S. 
interpretations of our obligations under international law, 
and the future of secret detention facilities.  Justice 
 
THE HAGUE 00002277  005.2 OF 005 
 
 
Minister Hirsch Ballin met with Bellinger and displayed an 
appreciation for the challenges we face, and may raise the 
issue during your meeting with him. 
 
Your Meeting with Justice Minister Hirsch Ballin 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
21. (U) Ernst Hirsch Ballin took office September 21, 
following the resignation of Piet Hein Donner as Justice 
Minister over charges that he was negligent in not 
preventing a 2005 fire at a Schipol Airport detention center 
that killed several illegal immigrants.  Hirsch Ballin 
served previously as Justice Minister from 1989 to 1994.  He 
is a distinguished law professor with a background in 
international law.  Your working lunch with him provides an 
opportunity to establish ties with the new Minister and to 
express appreciation for improved bilateral law enforcement 
cooperation.  It would also be useful to thank him for the 
strong affirmation of trust in the U.S. justice system he 
presented in the Al Delaema extradition order, and to press 
him to move expeditiously on it once appeals are exhausted. 
You should also thank him for Dutch efforts to combat the 
ecstasy trade. 
 
Your Meeting with Interior Minister Remkes 
------------------------------------------ 
 
22. (U) Interior Minister Remkes is responsible for crisis 
management and oversees the police and the domestic 
intelligence service.  His role in setting law enforcement 
and counter terrorism policy is limited.  Your meeting 
offers an opportunity to express appreciation for the 
improved direct police-to-police cooperation in combating 
terrorism, narcotics and organized crime. 
 
Your Meeting with Eurojust President Kennedy 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
23. (U) Your meeting with Eurojust President Michael Kennedy 
offers an opportunity to inaugurate a new relationship 
between the DOJ and Eurojust.  That relationship will be 
formally initiated during the November signing of a working 
agreement between MOJ and Eurojust.  You can use your 
meeting to focus on how best to utilize the new relationship 
and how to focus on critical enforcement areas.  This is 
also an opportunity to look forward to cooperation on 
implementing the Council of Europe cyber crime convention. 
 
Press 
----- 
 
24. (U) We are working to arrange a press roundtable, a 
television interview, and a longer human-interest interview 
with a journalist from the Netherlands's most influential 
weekly newsmagazine.  We are working to arrange a press pool 
to cover your and Dutch Minister of Justice's opening 
remarks at the conference.  The Dutch media will be 
interested to learn about the outcomes of your meetings. 
This is a good opportunity to highlight bilateral law 
enforcement cooperation and commend progress made thus far. 
Journalists will also be interested in hearing about our War 
on Terror.  The Dutch press is generally fair in its 
reporting and your visit should produce some great coverage 
that will help spread our messages to a broad audience.