"We heard Bush carries a nuclear suitcase and can push the red button at any time to set off atomic weapons. We find this extremely shocking," said Leo de Groot, a spokesman for the activist group.

The activists, carrying binoculars and wearing signs that identified them as "citizen's inspectors", mimicking the International Atomic Energy Agency's weapons inspectors, were caught by Dutch soldiers as they approached Bush's hotel. 

Hundreds of Dutch protesters rallied on Saturday in Amsterdam and Maastricht to protest against Bush who visited a US military cemetery in the southern Netherlands on Sunday to pay tribute to the Americans who died in the second world war.