Dutch, Belgians arrest four for suspected terror plot

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Dutch and Belgian police arrested four men on terror-related charges Monday, including plotting a possible attack on the Turkish consulate in the port city of Rotterdam, prosecutors said.

Two brothers, aged 29 and 26, were arrested in the southern Dutch village of Oudenbosch, while a third man, aged 37, was picked up in the southern city of Roosendaal, the Dutch public prosecution service said in a statement.

The fourth suspect, aged 39, was detained just across the border in Essen, northern Belgium, the prosecutors added.

The police investigation "focused on the preparation and training for terrorism as well as incitement to terrorism through the distribution of violent jihadism through social media," the statement said.

The arrests followed an intercepted phone conversation between a number of the suspects and a convicted Dutch jihadist, identified as Jaouad. A. by the Dutch media.

Jaouad A. was sentenced to four years in jail in November, for preparing a terror attack, after police raided his Rotterdam flat and found an AK-47 assault rifle, ammunition and a large amount of fireworks.

Police also uncovered a painting with a picture of the flag used by the Islamic State group and some 1,600 euros ($1,800) in cash.

"A planned attack on the Turkish consulate is discussed in an intercepted sound fragment" of the telephone conversation, prosecutors said.

Dutch public broadcaster NOS said it was also previously known that Jaouad A. had indeed discussed plans to attack the Turkish consulate, but had rejected the idea because many Turks were Muslims.

The three men arrested in the Netherlands will briefly appear before a judge later this week, while the suspect being held in Belgium will be extradited to the Netherlands.


© 2018 AFP

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