Schiphol terrorist attack plans: MPs accuse Justice Min of hiding details

Ard van der Steur (Photo: Commons)Ard van der Steur (Photo: Commons)

A number of Dutch parliamentarians accused Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice about hiding details about a possible attack plan that targeted Schiphol Airport on November 13th last year - the same day as terrorist attacks in Paris. The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, debated reports that two suspected terrorists traveled to the Netherlands that day with Van der Steur on Wednesday, Het Parool reports. 

Van der Steur would not say whether two terrorists planning an attack on Schiphol were actually in the Netherlands last year, ignoring demands of openness and clarity from, among others, Geert Wilders of the PVV and Ronald van Raak of the SP. He would not even say whether he knows the answer to that question.

In his own words, Van der Steur wants to avoid damaging the criminal investigation into the two suspects - Osama Krayem and Sofiale Ayari - by making any statements. The two were arrested in Belgium last year. They are suspected of involvement in the terrorist cell that was behind attacks in Paris and Brussels. 

Many parliamentarians criticized Van der Steur's silence, according to the newspaper. Wilders called it "political unwillingness".  Kees Verhoeven (D66) said his silence makes it very difficult for the Tweede Kamer to find out whether the Dutch counterterrorism measures are working.

Last week it was revealed that the two terrorist suspects bought one way tickets in Belgium to the Netherlands on November 13th last year. They used false identities to do so. It is unclear whether they ever actually reached the Netherlands.