Four arrested for plans to attack Turkish consulate in Rotterdam

Arrest (Photo: Politie). (Arrest (Photo: Politie))

On Monday the police arrested four Dutch-Moroccan men on suspicion of involvement in terrorism. The men discussed an attack on the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam, the Public Prosecutor said in a statement.

Two brothers aged 26 and 29 were arrested in Oudenbosch, a 37-year-old man was arrested in Roosendaal, and a 39-year-old man was arrested in Belgium. They were arrested based on a tapped conversation intelligence service AIVD shared with the police as part of another investigation last year. In this conversation the four men discussed an attack on the Turkish consulate with another man, who has already been convicted. 

The investigation into the arrested men is focused on preparation and training for terrorism, and inciting terrorism by spreading violent messages on social media. The three men arrested in the Netherlands will be arraigned later this week. The man arrested in Belgium will be extradited to the Netherlands. 

The police searched addresses in Oudenbosch, Roosendaal, Sprundel, Essen and Antwerp. No weapons or explosives were found. Digital data carriers and three cars were seized. A cannabis plantation was discovered in the home in Roosendaal.

The AIVD shared this tapped conversation with the police in 2017 as part of the investigation into Jaouad A., who was sentenced to four years in prison in November for planning a terrorist attack. A kalashnikov with ammunition, a large amount of illegal fireworks, and an ISIS flag were found in his home and cellar.  

In the tapped conversation in which A. discussed an attack on the Turkish consulate with the four now arrested suspects, he said: "It's a 500 meters walk from my house. I always see Turks going in. You can shoot there or throw something in. I can do it. But those people inside are just Muslims." was revealed in his trial. The Public Prosecutor demanded 8 years in prison against him and appealed against the ruling.