Rotterdam city councillor threatens colleague in terrorism debate

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Arno Bonte (Photo: @arnobonte/Twitter). (Arno Bonte (Photo: @arnobonte/Twitter))

A debate in Rotterdam on the arrest of French terrorist suspect Anis B. in the city devolved into a shouting match on Thursday. The debate had to be paused after a Leefbaar Rotterdam councilor Bart-Joost van Rij threatened to rip GroenLinks councilor Arno Bonte's head off, the AD reports.

The fight started with statements made by Leefbaar Rotterdam. The party claimed they have signs that Muslim terrorists in Brussels and Paris have links with Rotterdam residents, according to Dutch newspaper AD. "This is an unpleasant truth. We must not be naive in that or stick our heads in the sands", Leefbaar councilor Tanya Hoogwerf said.

This resulted in several other factions accusing Leefbaar of increasing the turmoil and unrest in the city by spreading "wive's tales" which they can not substantiate sufficiently.

Nida councilor Nourdin El Ouali accused Leefbaar of performing a circus act. "You make Muslims suspicious". GroenLinks councilor Arno Bonte three times said that Leefbaar is a "pyromaniac party" because they light "fear fire" in the city.

Several Leefbaar councilors were furious about Bonte's statements. Councilor Van Rij even shouted wildly that he will "rip off" Bonte's "head".

A short break was necessary to calm things down. GroenLinks leader Judith Bokhove told AD that the party will not give Van Rij's statement any thought. "We will not be intimidated. Rotterdam's largest party must first learn to behave."

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