Netherlands, German police thwart Dutch ′terror plot′ | News | DW | 29.12.2018
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Netherlands, German police thwart Dutch 'terror plot'

Security forces in the Dutch city of Rotterdam and the German city of Mainz have arrested five people suspected of plotting a "terrorist crime." Rotterdam police are investigating the scale of the terror threat.

The Dutch public prosecutor's office opened an investigation on Saturday into a suspected terror plot in the Netherlands. The counterterrorism Special Intervention Service (DSI) and police initially arrested four people in Rotterdam who were suspected of plotting a "terrorist crime," police said.

Police in the western German city of Mainz later detained a fifth suspect, a 26-year-old Syrian man with no prior criminal record, after searching the apartment where he was found. Police said they sought the suspect's arrest after receiving an extradition request from Dutch authorities.

"He is strongly suspected of taking part in the preparation for an attack in the Netherlands," police said.

Details unknown

Dutch officers carried out searches at the locations where the four suspects were detained, according to police. Details of any evidence seized were not given and no further information on the suspects was provided by authorities.

"Investigations will continue in the coming days, with the emphasis on further investigation of the nature and scale of the terrorist threat."

Police in both countries did not immediately reveal details of the alleged planned attack.

Previous incidents in the Netherlands

In September, Dutch police said they foiled a "major terrorist attack" on civilians, with seven people from one terror cell arrested in Arnhem near the German border. Investigators said they found a large quantity of bomb-making materials, including fertilizer likely to be used in a car bomb, following the arrests. 

At the end of August, police in Amsterdam's central station shot a 19-year-old Afghan man, Jawed S., after he stabbed two American tourists. City officials said the teen, who had a German residence permit, had a "terrorist" motive.

In June, two terror suspects aged 22 and 28 were arrested for planning to carry out attacks including at an iconic bridge in Rotterdam and in France, prosecutors said.

The last major attack in the Netherlands was the killing by a Muslim radical of Dutch anti-Islam film director Theo van Gogh. The great-grandnephew of the famous painter was shot and stabbed to death in 2004 in Amsterdam by a man with ties to a Dutch Islamist terror network.

amp, kw/aw (AFP, Reuters)

Editor's note: Deutsche Welle follows the German press code, which stresses the importance of protecting the privacy of suspected criminals or victims and urges us to refrain from revealing full names in such cases.

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