HOME About Blog Contact Hotel Links Donations Registration
NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Swiss report possible threat against U.N. in Geneva

GENEVA (Reuters) - Swiss authorities have informed the United Nations of a "possible terrorist attack" against its European headquarters in Geneva, its biggest premises outside of New York, the world body said in a letter to staff on Thursday.

The attack could take place between October 5 and October 10., the letter said, without giving further details.

The letter encouraged staff to "increase the level of alertness and to take special protection measures."

Security and checks were stepped up at the sprawling Palais des Nations, the original League of Nations, but work and meetings continued, U.N. spokeswoman Elena Ponomareva said.

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, went further than a U.N. statement which referred merely to a "possible threat" against the organization.

"...the Swiss authorities have contacted us to inform of a possible terrorist attack against United Nations' premises in Geneva," said the letter.

"This attack would take place between 5th of October and the 10th of October: No information has been provided about the possible authors or the means to be used and no specific target has been mentioned," it said.

Eric Grandjean, a Geneva police spokesman, said that police were helping with patrols and checks at U.N. entrances at the request of U.N. security. He declined to give the numbers deployed, but said they were "adequate preventive measures."

It is the second time in a year that the U.N. in Geneva has been put on high alert.

The previous occasion coincided with a visit by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan almost a year ago when a "credible security threat" was received via an unidentified U.N. member country.

Some 1,600 people work in the 1930s building, where the U.N. Human Rights Council is currently holding a three-week session to examine alleged violations -- including counter-terrorism measures taken in the wake of the Sept 11, 2001, attacks.

Annan had been due to be in Geneva this week but did not come as a planned summit in the Swiss city between the leaders of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea was canceled.

Web IntelligenceSummit.org
Webmasters: Intelligence, Homeland Security & Counter-Terrorism WebRing
Copyright © IHEC 2008. All rights reserved.       E-mail info@IntelligenceSummit.org