Syrian terrorism suspect arrested in Dutch asylum center
An 18 year old Syrian man was arrested in The Hague on Monday on suspicion of participation in a terrorist organization, the Public Prosecutor announced on Thursday. The man arrived in the Netherlands in October and applied for asylum. He was living in an asylum shelter in Zaandam.
According to the Prosecutor, the man told other asylum seekers in the shelter that he is a fighter for al-Qaeda and ISIS. He is being questioned. The magistrate in Rotterdam extended his custody by two weeks on Thursday.
A spokesperson for the Prosecutor told newspaper Trouw that there are no indications that the man was planning an attack in the Netherlands.
News of this arrest led to unease in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament.
PVV leader Geert Wilders told Trouw that an attack in the Netherlands is only a matter of time, and that Prime Minister Mark Rutte will be partly responsible because he "lets everyone in". "We saw in Paris and now in the Netherlands what the asylum tsunami brings with it. Muslim terrorist", the anti-Islam party leader said.
CDA Parliamentarian Mona Keijzer told the newspaper that she is shocked. She points to the recent report by the Inspectorate for Security and Justice which stated that the refugee screening leaves much to be desired and she wants to know from responsible State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff what has been done to improve this.
PvdA Parliamentarian Attje Kuiken called it a "serious matter", according to the Netherlands. She added that it is good that the other asylum seekers turned the suspect in. "We must now await the investigation, but want to know if the screening is good enough now and whether we could have identified him sooner."