Expatica news

Terrorists ‘planning to hit Schiphol, Parliament’

7 September 2004

AMSTERDAM — The Justice Ministry suspects terrorists have drawn up plans for an attack on the Dutch Parliament, Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the Borssele nuclear reactor, the Defence Ministry and the Leidschendam office of the AIVD secret service, it was revealed on Wednesday.

The revelations were made by newspaper NRC Handelsblad, which based its report on the case dossier lodged against suspected terrorist 18-year-old Samir A., who was arrested at the end of June by Rotterdam police.

The man’s arrest led the Dutch government to issue a terror warning on 9 July. Security was tightened at key installations in the west of the nation and North Brabant. The terror warning has not been rescinded.

The newspaper said A. is accused of preparing a bomb attack between 1 January and his arrest on 30 June. He was arrested on suspicion of involvement in a supermarket robbery.

Police claim they uncovered indications during a raid on his home that the suspect was planning a terrorist attack. The prosecution says officers seized floor plans of possible targets.

Besides the building layouts, police also said they seized a silencer, two cartridge clips, night glasses and a bullet-proof vest. Bomb-making chemicals such as ammonia and hydrochloric acid were also found.

A. is currently believed to be the only suspect in the case, but a confidential AIVD report claimed in October last year that he was a member of a “network” of “young, radical Muslims”.

A prosecution spokesman refused to comment at what stage the terrorist attack preparations are at. The fact that the terror alarm has not yet been rescinded could be due to the AIVD concerns over radical Muslims operating on Dutch soil.

Rotterdam Court extended A.’s remand detention 2 September until 23 September, when he will appear in court for a pre-trial hearing. The suspect is a Dutch citizen of Moroccan origin.

The suspect was also arrested on 17 October 2003 based on bugged telephone conversations. The AIVD alleged at the time he was involved in preparing an attack with four other extremists.

During a search of a house on that occasion police seized hydrochloric acid and artificial fertiliser, raising suspicions that the suspects intended to construct a bomb. They were eventually released due to a lack of evidence.

The suspect first hit headlines back in January 2003 when he reportedly tried to travel to Chechnya to join Muslim separatists there.

The suspect and his companion became stranded in the Russian cold and Russian authorities sent them back to the Netherlands.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news