An alert against possible Palestinian terrorist attacks was expanded Sunday to include U.S. diplomatic and commercial offices in the Netherlands, the Dutch Justice Ministry said.
Each end of the access road leading to the front of the U.S. Embassy in The Hague was blocked by sand-filled trash bins Sunday night. Police converged within minutes to investigate the flash of a photographer's camera.
Police presence was increased at the U.S. Consulate in Amsterdam, and police spokesman Klaas Wilting said other U.S. facilities were being guarded.
Many American companies--such as IBM, Hilton, Marriott and McDonald's--have high-visibility operations in the Netherlands, and there is a large American diplomatic and business community here.
The alert began Thursday in the Netherlands and in Scandinavia when Interpol, the international police organization, warned that terrorists of the Abu Nidal group might strike at any time against Jewish or Israeli targets.
Swedish authorities said that, according to Interpol, a "very reliable source" indicated that the Palestinian faction was ready to attack targets in Sweden, Denmark, Norway or the Netherlands.
Dutch authorities warned privately that the expanded alert made guarding all potential American, Israeli and Jewish targets "practically impossible."
The U.S. government has blamed the Abu Nidal faction, a dissident offshoot of the Palestine Liberation Organization, for Dec. 27 terrorist attacks that killed 15 air travelers at airports in Vienna and Rome.
A West German newspaper, meanwhile, said Sunday that Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi has ordered Palestinian gunmen to kill Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher. The Hamburg-published Bild am Sonntag quoted unidentified "members of the (West German) government" as saying that Bonn received a warning from an Arab country that Genscher was in danger.