The Dutch counter terrorism unit NCTb has downgraded the risk of a terrorist attack in the Netherlands to ‘limited’, its first reduction in two years. According to NCTb the reduction resulted from internal divisions and lack of leadership among terrorist organizations, and a shift in focus to theatres of international conflict. The “limited” level is the second of four levels of alert in the Netherlands. It had been raised to “substantial” in March 2008 after concerns over MP Geert Wilders’ film Fitna.
Spain went on maximum terror alert on Thursday ahead of the start of official campaigning in the country, in what is turning out to be one of the most fiercely contested legislative election in decades. The interior minister said that the alert would provide for a total mobilization of security forces, monitoring party headquarters, election meetings, public transportation, and other public venues. The rise in the terror alert was attributed to fears of an attack by the armed Basque separatist group ETA, and correspondents also say the threat comes from Islamist militants. The outcome of the last general election held in 2004 was altered by the morning bombings of packed commuter trains three days prior to the elections.