Terrorist network reportedly links Rotterdam to Brussels, Paris attacks
Anis B., the 32 year old Frenchman arrested in Rotterdam on terrorist charges on Sunday, is linked to an international terrorism network that played a very important role in the terrorist attacks in both Paris and Brussels, broadcaster NOS reports.
According to the news outlet, B. is linked to the Zerkani network, the core of which is in Brussels. "It is an international network that also has ties in Rotterdam." The network is named after its leader - Khalid Zerkani from Molenbeek. Zerkani was sentenced to 12 years in prison in July last year for recruiting jihadists in Brussels.
Another suspect in that same case was Reda Kriket. He was sentenced in abstentia to 10 years in prison for being part of a network that recruited foreign rebel fighters for the Syrian civil war. Kriket was arrested in Argenteuil, France on Thursday. A telephone number found in his home led the Rotterdam police to Anis B.
According to NOS, the European security services have a list of eight names believed to be connected to this network. Their current whereabouts are unknown.
Anis B. was arrested in Rotterdam on Sunday at the request of the French police. He will be extradited to France as soon as possible. Three Algerian men were also arrested. They are in custody of the Dutch police, who are investigating the extent of their involvement with B. and the terrorist activities he is suspected of.
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb called on the residents of Rotterdam to remain vigilant and to always report suspicious situations. According to him, it is better to be too careful than not careful enough.