Arrested terror suspects were training with rifles, bomb vests at Limburg holiday park: report

SWAT team entering a home - 7 men arrested for planning a terrorist attack, 27 Sept 2018
SWAT team entering a home - 7 men arrested for planning a terrorist attack, 27 Sept 2018Photo: Screenshot / @PolitieLE / Twitter

Members of a group arrested in September on suspicion of preparing for terrorist attacks in the Netherlands, received terrorism training at a holiday park in Weert on the day of their arrest. The training consisted of learning to use handguns and Kalashnikovs and fitting bomb vests, RTL Nieuws reports based on its own research and information from multiple sources.

The training happened on September 27th. Four of the seven arrested suspects were at the training. Two undercover police officers, pretending to be people that could deliver firearms for the attack and show how to use them, were also there. RTL's source emphasize that no shots were fired, all firearms had been disabled. The bomb vests also contained no explosives.

The meeting took place in a cottage at Weerterbergen holiday park. Before the training, the police installed listening devices in the cottage. The undercover police officers handed the suspects five handguns and instructed them on how to use the weapons. There were also two Kalashnikovs in the cottage, which an undercover cop also explained how to use. The suspects also tried on bomb vests during the training session, according to the broadcaster. 

Shortly after the suspects left the holiday park in Weert in a van, the police intervened. An anti-terrorism team overpowered and arrested the four men. Three other suspects were arrested in Arnhem. 

According to the Public Prosecutor, the group is suspected of planning "to carry out an attack with bombs and Kalashnikov AK47s at an event and at another location to detonate a car bomb". A spokesperson for the Public Prosecutor refused to respond to RTL's new revelations. "A further explanation of the investigation will not be given by the Public Prosecution Service in the media, but at the hearing before the court", the spokesperson said to the broadcaster.

RTL also approached the suspects' lawyers. They too refused to respond.