Dutch police have apprehended seven men today on suspicion of preparing a large scale terror attack. Around 400 law enforcement personnel were involved in the takedown, spread over two different cities. The suspects were armed with handguns.
The seven are aged between 21 and 34. The 34 year-old is believed to be the leader of the group: an Iraqi national, who was convicted in 2017 for attempting to travel to ISIS terrority. Two of the others have prior convictions for that same reason. But apparently they were already out on the street again.
The investigation into the group started several months ago, but intensified in the past month as it was believed the men were in advanced stages of preparation. Their plans included an attack on a large event and the use of automatic weapons, a car bomb and other explosives.
Busy times for anti-terror squads
Yesterday, an anti-terror unit arrested a man with a gas canister who was shouting “Allahu Akbar” in The Hague. As mentioned in that article: there have been two acknowledged islamic terror attacks in The Netherlands so far this year, one in The Hague on May 5th and one in Amsterdam on August 31st. Aside from those, a man was arrested near the parliament building for declaring he was on his way to kill Geert Wilders, there was a terrorist bomb threat in Tilburg on August 20th and there have been several incidents with the infamous knife wielding ‘confused men’, often shouting “Allahu Akbar – during one of those, in Schiedam on May 30th, a police dog was killed.