Plastic explosives investigation in Amersfoort has cops chasing two brothers

Two brothers from Amersfoort are suspected of trying to import half a kilogram of Semtex to use in making plastic explosives, according to the Public Prosecutor. 22-year-old Ali A. and 19-year-old brother Yusuf were caught after the FBI noticed them ordering Semtex and three detonators on the Dark Web and notified the Dutch authorities, AD reports.

Exactly what the Prosecutor will charge the brothers with will be determined in hearings in the coming days. The Prosecutor at least suspects them of preparing for a crime by ordering parts needed for making explosives from an American supplier. Ali A. will appear in court for a pro-forma session this week. Brother Yusuf A. is not in custody, but remains a suspect. 

The FBI notified the Dutch authorities about the brothers after the American agency noticed them ordering the detonators and Semtex on the Dark Web. The Dutch police and FBI teamed up and delivered a parcel with fake Semtex to the brothers' address in Liendert, Amersfoort. The brothers were arrested after they accepted the package. The police raided their home and found 19,950 euros in cash, a firearm and six "slivers of gold". 

The Public Prosecutor believes there is enough evidence to prove that the brothers were preparing for a crime due to their dark web account and order of Semtex and detonators. According to the Prosecutor, they were together preparing to commit either a terrorist attack or other crime for which they need explosives. 

Lawyer Cem Polat is representing Ali A. He confirmed to AD that the FBI gave the Dutch authorities information in the form of chat conversations, but according to him, there is no evidence that the brothers took part in these conversations. He told the newspaper that the package of fake Semtex was found in the brothers' car, but would say nothing further in the interest of the ongoing investigation.