COUNTRY CLEARANCES GRANTED FOR U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OFFICIAL MICHAEL A. RUGGIERO - NOVEMBER 6-11, 2006

Identifier: 
06THEHAGUE2284

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 002284

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR INT/USGS/RESTON/JSAFFER, TEL: 703 648-6056

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OTRA, TPHY, KSCA, NL
SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCES GRANTED FOR U.S. GEOLOGICAL
SURVEY OFFICIAL MICHAEL A. RUGGIERO - NOVEMBER 6-11, 2006

REF: STATE 175572

1. Country clearance is granted for USGS Integrated
Taxonomic Information System Director Michael A. Ruggiero to
travel to the Netherlands from November 6-11, 2006 to lead a
European Regional workshop on the global pollinator
information project as part of his IPA detail assignment with
the global biodiversity information facility.

2. Embassy understands that no further assistance is
required.

POST ACCESS:

3. Visitors who need unescorted access into secure areas of
the Mission must provide proof of a clearance. If level of
clearance was not provided in the original country clearance
request it should be done by separate cable. The cable
should include SSN, and the name of the agency granting the
security clearance. Cables must include the ASEC Tag to
ensure distribution to the RSO office.

COMPUTER and ELECTRONICS USAGE:

4. Inter-agency security standards prohibit the introduction
or use of non-USG owned computer hardware and software at all
USG diplomatic facilities. Cell phones, palm pilots, radios
and other convenience electronics are prohibited in all
secure areas of the Mission.

5. Travelers who anticipate having special needs in terms of
either access or computer usage should contact the RSO office
before arriving at post.

SECURITY ADVISORY:

6. Since July 9, 2004, the Dutch Government has implemented
heightened security measures in response to concerns of
terrorist activity. US citizens in The Netherlands are
encouraged to monitor media reports, and are reminded to
maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate
steps to increase their security awareness.

Tensions in The Netherlands are high, sparked by the November
2, 2004 murder of a Dutch film producer known for his
outspoken criticism of Islam; and by the November 10, 2004
raid on a home of suspected terrorists, which led to an
all-day standoff and ended with the arrest of three
individuals and non-fatal injuries to the suspects and the
police. Subsequent arrests were made in connection to this
raid and further investigation revealed that these suspects
had ties to known terrorist groups. These events initiated a
GoN-wide overhaul of its Counter-Terrorism measures,
including providing more resources to combat violent Islamic
radicalism. There have been a series of protests and arson
attacks directed at mosques and Islamic schools in the
Netherlands, plus retaliatory actions against several
churches. American citizens should bear in mind that even
demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn
confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.
American citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of
demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within
the vicinity of any demonstrations.

The U.S. Government remains deeply concerned about the
heightened possibility of terrorist attacks against U.S.
citizens and interests abroad. As noted in the Department of
State,s Worldwide Caution of September 10, 2004, terrorists
do not distinguish between official and civilian targets.
Such targets may include facilities where U.S. citizens and
other foreigners congregate or visit, including residential
areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels
and public areas. Terrorist actions may include, but are not
limited to, suicide operations, assassination, hijackings,
bombings or kidnappings. These may involve aviation and
other transportation and maritime interests.

An area of concern for visitors to The Netherlands is crime.
Most crimes against officials Americans are limited to
pick-pocketing and purse and luggage theft. 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. They are determined and
well-practiced at distraction theft. Official travelers have
been victimized, losing personal or unclassified government
computers, software and data. Travelers are reminded that
regulations require the use of the diplomatic pouch for
shipment of classified equipment and information.

THE HAGUE 00002284 002 OF 002

Streets can be walked in relative safety but, as in any U.S.
urban area, caution and vigilance should be exercised
especially 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 crimes.

For the latest security information, Americans living and
traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's
Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet web site at
http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide
Cautions, Public Announcements, and Travel Warnings can be
found. Up-to-date information on security can also be
obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S.,
line at 1-317-472-2328. These numbers are available from
8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday
(except U.S. federal holidays).

Embassy 24-hour contact number if you request further
assistance is: (31) (70) 310-2209.

ARNALL