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Relatives of Danish troops get threats

August 17, 2007|From the Associated Press

COPENHAGEN — Denmark's military intelligence agency is investigating whether Iraqi insurgents have used cellphone records to track down and threaten relatives of Danish soldiers deployed in Iraq, officials said Thursday.

Family members of several soldiers have told Danish media that they received threatening phone calls from unidentified callers in Iraq.

The Iraqi callers may have acquired the numbers by monitoring private phone calls made by the soldiers to their relatives in Denmark, according to the Danish Defense Intelligence Service.

"Right now, we're mapping the extent, after which we will consider whether our guidelines to our staff and their families regarding the use of cellphones and e-mails should be revised," agency spokeswoman Mette Noehr said. "To our knowledge, we're talking about a limited number of cases."

Noehr said the agency was unsure whether insurgents were behind the calls.

"It could also be hoodlums, but one thing is sure, we're taking this very seriously," she said.

Denmark withdrew its 460-member contingent from the southern city of Basra last month and replaced it with a small helicopter unit.

Seven Danes have been killed in Iraq.

Pvt. Ralf Clemmesen, who served in Iraq in the first half of this year, told Denmark's TV2 News that his father and girlfriend had received threatening calls from Iraq in February.

"Someone yelled in broken English, and it was not nice things," Clemmesen said in a television interview.

The relatives of at least 10 Danish soldiers had received similar calls, Clemmesen said.

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