Hand grenade found tied to door of Amsterdam business

A member of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (Picture: Twitter/@Corvettemichel)A member of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (Picture: Twitter/@Corvettemichel)

The Rozengracht in Amsterdam was closed off to traffic on Tuesday morning after a hand grenade was found tied to the door of a local business. The Ministry of Defense's explosive disposal department removed the explosive, but the street is still closed for investigation, AD reports.

The grenade was spotted by two construction workers at 6:45 a.m. "We got out of the building and I said to my colleague: You have to look, a hand grenade. It must be a joke", one said to the newspaper. They took a photo of the grenade and showed it to a plumber who was working in the same building. "Then we called [emergency number] 1-1-2", the other construction worker said. "The police immediately said it was real."

The grenade was hung on the door of a depilatory clinic, according to the newspaper. The clinic's window was also damaged. 

Hand grenades and other explosive devices have become a common method in the Netherlands for criminal suspects to try and extort local businesses. The discovery of a grenade often prompts authorities to shut down the business in the interest of public safety during the course of a criminal investigation.

The City of Amsterdam established a task force in April to determine how best to tackle the increasing frequency of the risk, while also minimizing the economic damage to the businesses targeted. The task force was ordered by the city council to present their plan by June 2020.

Last year former Amsterdam police chief Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg said that hand grenades are easily purchased on the black market, and can be obtained for aslittle as 5 euros per grenade. Aalbersberg took office as the head of the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism in February.