Dutch FM Koenders "shocked" by Belgium terrorism

koenders-in-ankara
. The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders, giving a speech in Ankara, Turkey on January 6th (Picture: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

"Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders says he is “shocked” about the terrorist plot in Belgium broken up by security officials there on Thursday. The Labour party politician says it justifies the need for the government and the people of the Netherlands to remain cautious and vigilant.

The minster would not speculate on further action the Netherlands will take in light of the alleged terrorist cells broken up in Belgium and Berlin last night, the attacks in and around Paris last week, according to the Telegraaf.

“But it is shocking and alarming,” Minister Koenders said. The Netherlands is “deeply, deeply involved” in this problem, he told newswire ANP.

Gunshots rang out as police raided a house in Verviers, Belgium leaving two suspected jihadists dead. A third person was arrested at the scene.

The suspects recently returned from Syria and were plotting to launch attacks within hours of the police operation.

“The suspects immediately and for several minutes opened fire with military weaponry and handguns on the special units of the federal police before they were neutralized,” said Belgian prosecutor Eric van der Sypt.

Weapons were recovered in Verviers, including four Kalashnikov, materials to be used in bombs, and police uniforms, local media reported.

Belgian officers swarmed on a total of ten locations in Belgium Thursday night and early Friday morning, including in the small city Verviers, near Liege. Raids were also conducted in Brussels, Anderlecht, Schaerbeek, Sint Jans-Molenbeek, Vilvoorde and Zaventem.

Two suspected Islamists were taken into custody in Zaventem.

German authorities raided eleven different locations in Berlin and immediately arrested two Turkish men. Ismet D., 41, is the suspected leader of a group of Turkish, Chechnyan and Dagestani people. Emin F., 43, ran the group’s financing, police said. Their organization is suspected of money laundering and “preparing a serious act of violence against the state in Syria.”

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