US embassy cable - 85THEHAGUE8873

ABU NIDAL TERRORIST ORGANIZATION

Identifier: 85THEHAGUE8873
Wikileaks: View 85THEHAGUE8873 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy The Hague
Created: 1985-12-16 16:40:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: PTER NL
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 161640Z DEC 85
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0131
INFO AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY BONN
AMEMBASSY ROME
AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY BEIRUT
AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 08873 
 
TERREP EXCLUSIVE 
 
E.O. 12356:  DECL: OADR 
TAGS:  PTER, NL 
SUBJECT:  ABU NIDAL TERRORIST ORGANIZATION 
 
REF:  (A) STATE 371962, (B) STATE 371963, 
 
1.  (S - ENTIRE TEXT.) 
 
2.  SUMMARY:  EMBASSY HAS DISCUSSED ISSUE OF ABU NIDAL 
TERRORISM (REFTELS) WITH APPROPRIATE MFA OFFICIALS. 
THE INITIAL MFA RESPONSE INDICATED THE DUTCH RECOGNIZE 
THE DANGER OF ABU NIDAL GROUP AND ARE PREPARED TO 
PARTICIPATE IN A "POLITICAL DIALOGUE" WITH THE US AND 
OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES TO CONSIDER POSSIBLE JOINT 
ACTION.  NONETHELESS, THERE IS NO CLEAR IDEA WITHIN THE 
MINISTRY AS TO HOW SUCH A DIALOGUE MIGHT BE STRUCTURED 
AND WHAT CHANNELS OF COORDINATION WOULD BE MOST EFFECTIVE. 
THE DUTCH ALSO TOOK ADVANTAGE OF OUR DEMARCHE TO PASS 
ON INFORMATION CONCERNING A POSSIBLE AMAL TERRORIST 
ACTION WHICH THE MFA RECEIVED CONFIDENTIALLY FROM TWO 
LIBYAN GOVERNMENT SOURCES.  END SUMMARY. 
 
3.  AMBASSADOR RAISED ISSUE OF ABU NIDAL TERRORISM 
(REFTELS) WITH MFA DIRECTOR FOR MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA 
AFFAIRS JAN HORAK AND EMBASSY OFFICER FOLLOWED UP IN 
GREATER DETAIL WITH AREND HUITZING, HEAD, MFA MIDDLE 
EAST OFFICE, AND JOOP VAN BOSSE, HEAD, NORTH AFRICA 
OFFICE.  WE EXPLAINED USG INTEREST IN INCREASED INTER- 
NATIONAL COOPERATION AGAINST ABU NIDAL, DRAWING ON 
POINTS REF A, AND PROVIDED MFA WITH US INTELLIGENCE 
ASSESSMENT ON THE SUBJECT (REF B).  WE ARE ALSO 
PROVIDING INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENT TO DUTCH INTELLIGENCE 
AGENCIES VIA SIRO LIAISON CHANNELS. 
 
4.  HUITZING AND VAN BOSSE INDICATED THAT GON IS CON- 
CERNED ABOUT ABU NIDAL ORGANIZATION, WHICH WAS 
RESPONSIBLE FOR BOMBING OF AN EL AL OFFICE IN 
AMSTERDAM IN SEPTEMBER.  HUITZING NOTED THAT 
NETHERLANDS AND US ARE ALREADY EXCHANGING INFORMATION 
ON TERRORISM THROUGH APPROPRIATE CHANNELS AND HE DOUBTS 
THERE WAS MUCH NEW THE DUTCH COULD OFFER IN THIS AREA. 
HE DID THINK, HOWEVER, THAT THERE IS A NEED FOR A 
"POLITICAL DIALOGUE" BETWEEN THE US AND CONCERNED 
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES TO SEE WHAT CONCRETE DIPLOMATICC 
SECURITY MEASURES WE COULD JOINTLY TAKE TO DEAL WITH THE 
ABU NIDAL THREAT. 
 
5.  WE ASKED HUITZING AND VAN BOSSE IF THEY HAD ANY 
SUGGESTIONS AS TO THE BEST FORUM FOR SUCH A DIALOGUE. 
THE TWO MEN DISAGREED IN THEIR RESPONSES.  HUITZING 
FAVORED DEALING WITH THE ISSUE AT NATO, WHILE 
VAN BOSSE THOUGHT A US DIALOGUE WITH THE EC "TREVI" 
GROUP DEALING WITH TERRORISM MIGHT BE BETTER. 
HUITZING'S PREFERENCE FOR NATO SEEMED BASED ON HIS 
DESIRE TO GIVE PREEMINENCE TO THE POLITICAL/ 
DIPLOMATIC ASPECTS OF SUCH A DIALOGUE, WHILE VAN BOSSE 
FELT THE TREVI GROUP COULD BETTER DEAL WITH THE LAW 
ENFORCEMENT SIDE OF THE TERRORISM ISSUE.  BOTH MEN 
AGREED THE MFA LACKS A CLEAR POINT OF CONTACT FOR 
COORDINATING TERRORISM POLICY COMPARABLE TO THE 
STATE DEPARTMENT'S M/CT. 
 
6.  WE ALSO ASKED VAN BOSSE ABOUT INFORMATION PROVIDED 
TO US  THAT A NUMBER OF DUTCH TRAVELING TO 
LIBYA HAD TWO PASSPORTS, ONE OF WHICH WAS OFTEN 
SEIZED BY LIBYAN AUTHORITIES.  VAN BOSSE CLARIFIED 
THAT SUCH SEIZURES USUALLY ONLY OCCUR WHEN THE 
LIBYANS HAVE AN UNRESOLVED COMMERCIAL OR FINANCIAL 
CLAIM AGAINST THE DUTCH CITIZEN IN QUESTION.  THE 
PASSPORTS ARE ALMOST ALWAYS RETURNED 
EVENTUALLY BY THE LIBYANS, VAN BOSSE SAID, AND THERE 
IS NO EVIDENCE THEY HAVE BEEN USED TO FACILITATE 
ILLEGAL TRAVEL BY TERRORISTS.  HUITZING NOTED THAT 
IT WOULD BE FAR EASIER FOR THE LIBYANS TO OBTAIN 
DUTCH PASSPORTS ON THE "BLACK MARKET" FROM AMONG 
PASSPORTS REPORTED LOST OR STOLEN WITHIN THE 
NETHERLANDS THAN TO ATTEMPT TO USE ONE OF THE FEW 
SEIZED DIRECTLY BY THEIR AUTHORITIES, SINCE THE 
DUTCH KEEP A CLOSE WATCH ON THOSE PASSPORTS AND 
WOULD BE AWARE IMMEDIATELY OF LIBYAN INVOLVEMENT 
IF THEY SHOWED UP IN THE HANDS OF TERRORISTS. 
 
7.  VAN BOSSE ALSO USED THE OPPORTUNITY OF OUR 
DEMARCHE TO PASS TO US INFORMATION RECEIVED IN CONFI- 
DENCE FROM TWO DIFFERENT LIBYAN DIPLOMATS REGARDING 
POSSIBLE TERRORIST ACTIVITY.  VAN BOSSE SAID THE 
DUTCH EMBASSY IN TRIPOLI HAD BEEN TOLD IN JULY THAT 
THE AMAL GROUP IN LEBANON WAS PLANNING A POSSIBLE AIR 
HIJACKING OF A DUTCH AND/OR LIBYAN AIRCRAFT.  ACCORDING 
TO THE LIBYAN SOURCES, THE TERRORISTS WOULD BE USING 
FORGED LEBANESE OR LIBYAN PASSPORTS.  VAN BOSSE 
ADMITTED THE INFORMATION WAS RATHER DATED, BUT HE 
PRESENTED IT TO US TO UNDERSCORE THE DUTCH MFA ARGUMENT 
THAT MAINTAINING DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH LIBYA CAN 
OCCASIONALLY YIELD VALUABLE INFORMATION OF USE TO THE 
WEST'S EFFORTS TO COMBAT TERRORISM. 
 
8.  VAN BOSSE AND HUITZING CONCLUDED BY SAYING THEY 
WOULD BRING OUR DEMARCHE ON ABU NIDAL TO THE ATTENTION 
OF SENIOR MFA OFFICIALS AND WOULD BE IN TOUCH WITH US IF 
THE MINISTRY HAD ANY ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS ON POSSIBLE 
FUTURE COOPERATION IN THIS AREA. 
 
9.  COMMENT: VAN BOSSE'S AND HUITZING'S READY 
UNDERSTANDING OF THE VALUE OF A STEPPED-UP WESTERN 
POLITICAL DIALOGUE ON TERRORISM IS ENCOURAGING. 
WE WILL BE FOLLOWING UP TO FOMENT  SIMILAR 
UNDERSTANDING AT SENIOR MFA LEVELS.  EVEN WITH SUCH 
UNDERSTANDING, HOWEVER, IT WILL NOT BE EASY TO 
TURN WESTERN DIALOGUE INTO OUR OBJECTIVE OF JOINT 
OR PARALLEL PRESSURES BY THE DUTCH UPON LIBYA AND 
SYRIA.  WHAT WE NEED AS A FIRST STEP IS TO IDENTIFY 
A WESTERN FORUM FOR DIALOGUE WHERE WE COULD BUILD 
MOMENTUM FOR JOINT ACTION IN WHICH WE COULD CATCH 
UP THE DUTCH AND OTHERS. 
 
 
BREMER 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04