DutchAmsterdam.nl — An IKEA store and several other shops at a shopping boulevard in south-east Amsterdam remain closed after police received a bomb threat against the stores this morning.
Mayor Job Cohen and police say they are taking the threats extremely seriously.
No announcements have been made as to the source of the threats, but police and a spokesperson for IKEA have stated that the threats do not specifically target IKEA.
Aside from IKEA, the shops of Media Markt, Perry Sport, Decathlon and Prenatal — as well as Heineken Music Hall — have also been vacated. However, the Heineken Music Hall is back in operation.
A large police force is in the area, patrolling Arenaboulevard and other streets as well as the nearby Bijlmer Arena metro station. Roads into the area are closed.
Members of the Koninklijke Marechaussee, the Dutch military police — normally stationed at Schiphol Airport — along with search dogs trained in locating explosives are checking the vacated properties.
In December 2002 all 10 IKEA locations in the Netherlands were vacated when suspicious packages were found after bomb threats had been issued.
The packages had been placed by two Polish men who demanded €250.000 from the furniture chain. They were caught in Portugal and extradited to the Netherlands. In 2005 they were sentenced to 7 years in prison.
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