Share article:
Share article:

Dutch police arrest gang ‘preparing terrorist attack’

Members of the DSI: special intervention service. © Joey Bremer/Twitter

Police in Eindhoven in the Netherlands have broken up a gang suspected of organising a terrorist attack. In the raid, nine men aged between 18 and 31 were arrested.

The men are suspected of being IS sympathisers with extremist views on jihad. Similar groups took part in the Paris attacks of 2015 and the Brussels attacks in 2016.

All but one of the suspects are Dutch-born; the ninth was born in Afghanistan but now has a Dutch passport. They were brought before an examining magistrate in Rotterdam yesterday, to ensure that the arrests were carried out lawfully.

In the meantime, the men may only have contact with their lawyers. By the same token, the lawyers may not answer questions on the case.

The raid took place in the early morning of Thursday. Residents in the north of the city were awakened at around 05.00 by helicopters circling overhead. Police then forced entry at eight different addresses.

The arrests are the result of an investigation begun in the summer on information provided by the Dutch intelligence service AVID and the Landelijke Recherche – the central police service responsible for investigating serious crimes. Details are not known of exactly what their plans were, but the alleged plot will be investigated further, the public prosecutor’s office said.

Following their appearance before the examining magistrate yesterday, they were returned to custody. On Wednesday a court will decide on whether their arrest should be extended.

During the raid, no arms or explosives were discovered, but police did recover a large number of data media, including laptops and USB sticks, which will also have to be examined.

The Al Fourqaan mosque in Eindhoven has played an important role in the development of extremist thinking in the Netherlands, according to a TV documentary broadcast last year. In 2002 two young men were killed in Kashmir on their way to a training camp in Pakistan. They had been recruited at the mosque.

Later, a group of men, recruited in the margins of the mosque by a Tunisian, showed up at a diving school in the city, looking to be trained on how to carry out an attack underwater. Instead, they were turned in to the authorities.

Some of their names later turned up again in connection with terror attacks in Madrid and in Belgium. Eindhoven is barely 20km from the Belgian border.

Latest news

Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
Vaccinations: Belgium’s Health Minister currently not in favour of a general booster shot
The latest figures on new coronavirus cases are worrying, but rather than imposing new safety measures, what is needed is full compliance with ...
Thousands protest against the Covid health pass in France
Demonstrations against the health pass and other measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus mobilised tens of thousands of protesters ...
Record-breaking 770-metre highline installed in Freÿr, Beglium
A 770-metre long highline was installed at an altitude of 70 metres at the Freÿr Rocks on Saturday, setting a new Belgian record, according to ...
Huge cannabis farm discovered inside closed down Chinese restaurant near Charleroi
A cannabis plantation with several hundred mature plants was dismantled on Friday evening in a former Chinese restaurant on Chaussée de Bruxelles ...
Citizen founded wind turbine project launched in Liège region
A citizen founded wind turbine project was inaugurated in the Liège Region on Saturday by Walloon Energy Minister Philippe Henry (Ecolo) together ...
Five questions to philosopher Philippe Van Parijs on Leopold II and embarrassment in Brussels’ public space
The worldwide explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, combined with the 60th anniversary of the ...
Belgium to invest in sustainable heating in 2022
The federal government will set aside about one million euros in its 2022 budget for a social tariff for sustainable heating, Federal Energy Minister ...
Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...
Brussels to Luxembourg by train in two hours soon possible
The fastest train ride between Brussels and Luxembourg currently takes almost three hours, but that could be slashed to about two hours thanks to the ...
Daily Covid infections up by almost 30% in Belgium
Between 6 and 12 October, an average of 2,438 people were infected with the Covid-19 virus every day, according to figures from the Sciensano public ...