Dutch anti-terrorism office and Danish authorities were unshaken by comments made by al-Qaeda linked and imprisoned Abdullah Azam Saleh al-Qahtani. Their calm response on Wednesday was shared by South Africa police.
Al-Qahtani said Monday that he had proposed to al-Qaeda leadership a plan to attack the Denmark and Holland teams and fans during the World Cup soccer tournament, to be held in South Africa from June 11 to July 11.
Al-Qahtani was arrested in Iraq on May 3. His proposed plans for taking revenge on Denmark and Holland for, respectively, 12 newspaper cartoons depicting Islam’s founder published in a newspaper and an anti-Islamic film made by a politician, were found in a house where two leading al-Qaeda figures were killed in April.
According to AP, Judith Sluiter of the Netherlands anti-terrorism coordination office said Al-Qathani's comments fit the perceived potential threats.
She said that al-Qaeda perceives the tournament as an important target. The South African police, who received no direct information from Iraqi authorities, trained 44,000 extra police for the World Cup. Two hundred experts from Interpol will assist.
Police spokesman Vish Naidoo said that terrorism threats are accounted for, and the report from Baghdad does not change the security plans.