RACISTS PLAN HI-TECH DISRUPTION FOR FUTURE EURO 2000.British National Criminal Intelligence Service warns that violence is "almost guaranteed" during the Euro 2000 tournament
by Palmers © 2000

Following clashes between English and Turkish "football supporters" prior to and following the Cup final in Copenhagen on 17 May, the British National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) warns that violence is "almost guaranteed" during the Euro 2000 tournament.

The event will be co-hosted by Denmark and Belgium and kicks off in Brussels on 11 June.

Described as the worst outbreak of widespread football-related violence since the 1998 World Cup in France, the Danish confrontations, in which a senior police officer and 26 supporters were injured, took place before the scheduled match between Arsenal and Galatasaray. The data confirms a recent NCIS football intelligence unit report that violence away from the sporting grounds has increased, making policing major international tournaments more difficult and costly.

The NCIS has "fears about the security of Euro 2000", according to spokesman Nick Steels. There is a new generation, not deterred by legislation or punishment and the "rules of engagement have shifted" with a "significant rise" in the number of weapons being used.

A delegation from the Dutch Euro 2000 police unit, led by Commissioner T. Brekelmans, witnessed the violence in Copenhagen involving from 600 to 1,000 people. In his immediate assessment, Brekelmans blamed local Turk residents who sought a confrontation with the English, and later with the Danish police. He down-played the "hooligan element", pointing out that no property was trashed and no citizens molested.

Police Commissioner saw last riot and felt Turk residents sought a confrontation with the English

While UEFA has tried to diminish the risk of violence, and turned down a request from the British to relocate the England versus Germany match to Brussels, a Dutch Interior Ministry spokesman admitted that the Copenhagen incidents were an indication of what can be expected. Euro 2000 business representative, Jan de Grave, acknowledged that despite the "right preparations, a 100 percent safe tournament could not be guaranteed".

Football-related violence is preplanned with those involved now using mobile phones and the Internet for their organizing. One British Web site revealed when and where the Turkish team was playing, where England and their supporters are based during the same period, and how to travel to avoid police surveillance. A Dutch site even calls on German and Dutch "firms" to "fight alongside" the English against the Turkish fans. This threat has alarmed Dutch and Belgian authorities because of the large Turkish communities in both countries.

Dutch police have cancelled police officer leaves until after 3 July and their riot police are on stand-by at all games played in Holland. Further, the police have powers of "preventative arrest" of suspected trouble-makers can be held for up to 12 hours and deported if necessary.

Police have power to arrest before crimes are committed and may deport, as well

Police sources in Amsterdam suggested that local racially-motivated right-wing groups may try to use Euro 2000 to target Turkish property and business premises even in cities not directly associated with the tournament. This threat was underlined, at the end of May, by a senior British NCIS officer who confirmed that the British neo-Nazi group, Combat 18, has obtained stolen passports for Danish and Swedish racist groups for their undercover travel to and from Euro 2000.

Combat 18 (the number represents Adolf Hitler's initials) emerged in 1992 and has several hundred "hard core" members, according to the NCIS. The group was responsible for violence during an international match between the Republic of Ireland and England in Dublin in 1995. During this disturbance, many people including police officers and children, were injured. Links between Combat 18 and neo-Nazi groups in northern Europe were discovered by Danish police following a campaign in 1997 in which bombs concealed in video cassettes, assembled near Copenhagen, were sent from Sweden to mixed-race couples in Great Britain.


The above article (Intelligence, N.118, 5 June 2000, p.3) was substantially recomposed from an item noted in the Intelligence bulletin to which Palmer subscribes. INTELLIGENCE is a subscription by-weekly bulletin serving the world's intelligence community since 1980. Its display here was granted by its editor, .