Terrorism arrests sped up with New Year's Eve approaching: Report

Netherlands police tactical team
Special Intervention Service (DSI) tactical team file photo. March 2017.photo: Politie

With New Year's Eve right around the corner, authorities decided to quickly move forward with the arrests of several suspects allegedly preparing a terrorist attack, according to broadcaster NOS. Normally, an investigation into similar suspects could take months, but in this case police were tipped off just days ago, NOS reported.

No weapons were found in the search of five homes related to the arrest of four terrorism suspects in Rotterdam on Saturday morning, the broadcaster noted. Authorities did not immediately find any material connected to ISIL.

The four suspects are all men in their twenties, and they all have "a non-Western background", NOS said. One of them, Syrian man Saleh M., was granted an asylum residence permit along with his wife and kids. A Christmas tree stood in the family's home when he was arrested.

Saleh M.'s computer was confiscated in the raid.

One raid took place at Söderblomplaats in Rotterdam-Ommoord, another nearby on Stresemannplaats, and a third in the city center, according to RTV Rijnmond. The police mobilized their national Special Intervention Office (DSI) tactical unit along with Rotterdam officers during the raids.