Suspects arrested for attack on Telegraaf building

Volkswagen Caddy crashed into De Telegraaf building on Basisweg in Amsterdam, 26 July 2018
Volkswagen Caddy crashed into De Telegraaf building on Basisweg in Amsterdam, 26 July 2018Photo: Politie

Update 11:50 a.m. - Updated the article with more details about the arrests

The Amsterdam police arrested suspects at various locations on Monday morning in the ongoing investigation into an attack on the building housing newspaper De Telegraaf in June last year. More details will be released during the course of the day, the police said on Twitter. 

The Telegraaf reports that the arrests were made by a special interventions SWAT team. A total of 12 suspects were arrested at various locations in Amsterdam, Utrecht and The Hague. They are all in restricted custody for further investigation, according to the newspaper. The police also searched a number of buildings in Zwanenburg, Houten, Utrecht, The Hague, Diemen, Lijnden, Zaandam, NIeuwegein and Amstelveen. At least one car, a number of car parts, license plates, benzine, scooters, motorcycles, cash and GPS trackers were seized. 

In June last year an as yet unidentified man crashed a Volkswagen Caddy through the facade of the TMG building on Basisweg in Amsterdam, which houses the newspaper's editorial staff. He then set the vehicle, which was filled with jerry cans, on fire. This destroyed a lot of trace evidence, which made the investigation more complex. 

In March this year, eight months after the attack, the Public Prosecutor said that it is being taken "strongly into account" that fugitive Ridouan Taghi ordered the attack on the Telegraaf, according to Taghi is suspected of ordering multiple assassinations, including the murders of Samir Erraghib in 2016 and Hakim Changachi in 2017. He was linked to these murders by key witness Nabil B. The Prosecutor also holds "the group around Taghi" responsible for the murder of Nabil B.'s brother Reduan B. in March last year.

According to the Telegraaf, the attack on the TMG building caused around 800 thousand euros worth of damage. Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the attack a "slap in the face" of democracy and the free press.