Secret arrests as more terror cases revealed

14th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

14 September 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The Netherlands is facing a far larger and more organised threat from Islamic terrorists than previously thought, it was reported Tuesday. One source said the Dutch authorities are conducting at least 15 investigations into planned attacks.

14 September 2004

AMSTERDAM — The Netherlands is facing a far larger and more organised threat from Islamic terrorists than previously thought, it was reported Tuesday. One source said the Dutch authorities are conducting at least 15 investigations into planned attacks.

A day after news broke on Monday that Dutch police investigating Islamic terrorism had arrested four people  in July, newspaper Algemeen Dagblad (AD) said more terrorist suspects had been arrested than previously revealed.

One of the investigations is focusing on suspects who were allegedly planning a bomb attack on a hotel and another involved a planned attack against prominent Dutch politicians.

The Netherlands gave "political, but not military" support to the US-led war against Iraq last year and there are currently some 1,300 Dutch peacekeeping troops in Iraq. It is also involved in peacekeeping duties in Afghanistan and is regarded as a firm ally of the US.

Some 29 "serious" tips over possible terrorist operations in the Netherlands have been received so far this year by the anonymous tip line, Meld Misdaad Anoniem, which was set up by the Justice and Interior ministries. The Dutch intelligence service AIVD is investigating most of the tips.

There have been arrests in at least two of the cases, but the AIVD said it will not comment on existing investigations. The Public Prosecution Office (OM) has also refused to comment.

The AD quoted a spokesman from the tip line saying that several people have been arrested due to the threatened attack on a hotel. And security was tightened around prominent politicians based on reports that an attack against them was being planned.

The newspaper also reported on Tuesday that four Saudi Arabian men have been arrested in the Netherlands on suspicion they were planning an attack against a large sporting event in the UK.

These arrests come on top of the highly publicised arrest of an 18-year-old man of Moroccan ancestry in Rotterdam in June on suspicion his was planning a bomb attack. His arrest was cause for the government to issue a terror alert on 9 July.

The OM confirmed on Monday that four suspected Islamic terrorists were arrested in Rotterdam on 30 July. Two suspects are Dutch nationals of Surinamese and Somali ancestry, while the other suspects come from Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Prosecutors said the four suspects — reportedly aged between 21 and 31 — were arrested after two of them filmed a "certain route" and government buildings in The Hague, raising concerns they were planning attacks.

Three houses in Rotterdam were raided and police allegedly seized a gun, four cartridge clips and ammunition, a silencer, a bullet-proof vest and video tapes. One of the video tapes shows interviews with Muslims prepared to carry out suicide attacks.

Rotterdam Court extended remand in custody on 6 September and the investigation is focusing on possible links between the suspects and radical Islamic organizations, news agency ANP reported.

But a lawyer for the 28-year-old man of Surinamese origin said the evidence is "not strong". He also said the OM only found a diary and rap lyrics taken to be a radical statement in a raid on his client's home.

The suspect is part of an Islamic movement that seeks greater dialogue in society and strongly condemns terrorism, the lawyer said.

The lawyers of the other three suspects have refused to comment.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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