"Explosives" seized in terrorism case were shawarma spices: lawyer

Spices (Photo: Gregg Tit con/Wikimedia Commons). (Spices (Photo: Gregg Tit con/Wikimedia Commons))

The substance police officers found when they raided terror suspect Samir O.'s home in April, was not explosives, but shoarma seasoning, O.'s lawyer Ed Manders said to the Telegraaf.

Footage of O. and three other suspects' arrests were broadcast on Dutch television program Onder de Radar earlier this week. The program reported that they formed a terrorist cell and had plans for an attack in Amsterdam. The program also reported the discovery of an explosive substance and 100 thousand euros in cash in O.'s home.

According to Manders, the substance was nothing more than a bucket of shoarma spices. And the cash was not to fund terrorism, but for cash-flow in O.'s meat wholesaler.

The Public Prosecutor confirmed to the newspaper that the substance is calcium magnesium carbonate - a harmless substance indeed used to treat meat. But the fact that it was harmless was not immediately apparent. "It definitely did not look like shoarma seasoning you can buy in the store", a spokesperson said.

O. believes that the tip that led to his and the other suspects' arrests came from a former business partner. The relationship between the two soured after a quarrel, according to the lawyer. The business partner's name was given to the police.

O. and two other suspects are being released on Friday. According to the prosecutor, there is no evidence that they were planning an attack. They are, however, still suspected of money laundering and financing terrorism. The fourth suspect was handed over the the Immigration police because he is an undocumented migrant in the Netherlands.