French terror suspect fights Dutch extradition

29th March 2016, Comments 0 comments

A French terror suspect arrested in weekend raids in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam is fighting his extradition to France, Dutch prosecutors said Tuesday.

The 32-year-old, identified by Dutch media only as Anis B., will remain in custody in the Netherlands, where a court has to decide within 90 days whether to grant a request from Paris to extradite him, the Amsterdam prosecutor said in a statement.

The man is wanted by France for "involvement in a criminal organisation linked to a terrorist enterprise," the prosecutor said.

He was arrested on Sunday at Paris's request suspected of receiving orders from the Islamic State group to attack targets in France.

He appeared before an Amsterdam court on Tuesday and was remanded in custody. The court also ruled he could only have contact with his lawyers and not with other people.

He must appear again this time in a public hearing within 60 days. But no date has been set for that.

France had sought Anis B.'s arrest after French police there said they had thwarted an attack by a man called Reda Kriket, 34, who was caught on Thursday.

French police discovered several assault rifles and explosives at Kriket's apartment in a Paris suburb.

Heavily-armed Dutch police then raided a home in the west of Rotterdam late Sunday following the French investigation.

Police found ammunition, SIM cards, hard drives, cash and drugs in the raids, during which several houses in the area were evacuated.

Three other men were also detained in the operation, including two suspects of Algerian origin aged 43 and 47. No immediate details were available about the third man.

They are also being held on suspicion of involvement in terror attacks, Dutch media reported.

The Netherlands was already on heightened alert after the airport and metro attacks in Brussels a week ago, with security stepped up at airports and train stations and border controls tightened.

Dutch Justice Minister Ard van der Steur on Tuesday told parliament he expected Anis B. "to be extradited to France soon".

© 2016 AFP

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