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March Today in Terrorism

March 3, 1975: Attempted kidnapping of the Dutch queen

On this day in March 1975 Moluccan terrorists attempted to kidnap the Queen of the Netherlands, Juliana

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS – If you are going to kidnap someone to make a point, aim high!

Why do kidnapers do what they do? Is it for the money only? For the attention? To make an example out of someone? Because they are twisted? All of the above?

I suppose it depends. When terrorist groups use this tactic it can indeed be for several reasons. Unfortunately, especially when the victim is female, there is also a high risk of sexual abuse. The Amanda Lindhout case in Canada is a good example.

How journalist Amanda Lindhout's brutal kidnapper was brought to justice
Ms Lindhout turned a horrific situation into good (Photo: NBC Dateline)

If you are a potential kidnaper, and a terrorist to boot, why not aim high? I mean, REALLY high? (Then there’s Boko Haram in Nigeria which can only seem to kidnap school girls and boys)

On this day in 1975

Moluccan terrorists attempted to kidnap the Queen of the Netherlands, Juliana. Some members of that group were intercepted in a car full of fire arms intending to steal a truck and ram the gates of the Royal Palace to take the Queen.

Wait, who were the Moluccans? Basically, in the wake of Indonesia‘s independence from the Netherlands in 1949, soldiers from South Maluku were seen as traitors for having served the Dutch and hence exiled to the Netherlands where they were promised their own state, the Republic of South Maluku (RSM).

They wanted the public opinion to be aware of their presence, but above all, they wanted the government to keep its promises on the RSM.

Alas, this fell through and a few targeted the Dutch for their betrayal. At least this time, their plot failed.

Would we call this a ‘royal flush’?

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. and Director of the National Security programme at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute (PDI). Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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