Dutch brothers arrested as terrorists in Suriname; family shocked

Two Dutch terror suspects arrested in Suriname on Sunday are brothers N.H. and R.H. who live in Paramaribo and work in an Islamic butchery in the Surinamese capital. Both were born in the Netherlands and have Dutch nationality. Their family is shocked by the arrests, NOS reports.

On Sunday masked and heavily armed members of the Surinamese police's SWAT team came into their home and arrested them on suspicion of terrorist activities. They are still in restricted custody and have no contact with the outside world, not even with their lawyer. 

The men's family did not want to comment extensively on the arrests. Their mother told NOS that she is shocked by what happened. "My sons are dedicated Muslims and pray several times a day, but they are tolerant of dissenters", she said. Their sister also can't imagine her brothers involved in terrorist activities. 

The brothers' lawyer, Raoul Lobo, also can't give an extensive comment. "We do not know much more than you. We have not been able to speak to our clients because they are in restricted custody", he said to the broadcaster. According to him, the brothers will be arraigned on Friday.

Neighbor Shanti Ramautar told Surinamese television station Pipel-tv that one of the Dutch men was brought outside with a paper bag over his head, in front of his son. "I have lived here for seven years and never noticed anything strange. Our children and theirs play together. These are people who take meat to the mosque during Ramadan. I do not believe this. This arrest is a major allegation and I think that the Surinamese authorities must come with evidence quickly", she said. 

One of the two Dutch suspects is in a relationship with the daughter of Surinamese politician and parliamentarian Ronnie Brunswijk. She too was arrested on Sunday afternoon, but released again a short time later. Brusnwijk has serious doubts about the suspicions against her. "She would never do something like this", he said, according to NOS. He does, however, understand the arrests. "If you as a country have information that certain people are are busy with terrorism, then the security services and police must intervene."

The Dutch brothers were two of a number of arrests made on Sunday. Exactly how many were arrested on suspicion of terrorism, was not announced.