The terror threat on two (or three) wheels…Dutch police warn that terrorists may be planning to use a cargo bike to launch an attack in Amsterdam during the New Year celebrations.
In the wake of the attacks in Paris, police in Amsterdam have been warned to be vigilant about a deadly serious – and extremely Dutch – threat.
An internal police memo has warned Amsterdam’s forces that there are “signals present of a threat, especially between Christmas and New Year,” and one potential medium for explosives could be the many bakfietsen (cargo or box bikes) parked around the Dutch streets, according to Dutch paper Het Parool. The capital’s Parool newspaper reported that police had been ordered to be extra alert for cargo bikes because they could be used by terrorists.
The memo reportedly said: “A [terror] means could be a bike or bakfiets containing explosives. So you are asked to be extra alert in public areas and events in the coming period until New Year’s Eve. Report suspicious behaviour and objects immediately.”
Bakfietsen are usually used to ferry around children, bits of furniture, shopping or anything that would normally need a car, and sealed with a raincover.
The Netherlands contains an estimated 19m bikes, alongside a supply of on-street parking racks, multi-storey and underground bike parks.
However, there are no concrete indications that an attack is imminent in the Netherlands. A spokesman for the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV), said there have been no “concrete indications” of a threat against the Netherlands, although there has been a general warning to Europe.