Hand grenade left at Amsterdam home

Crime scene tape
Crime scene tapePhoto: Politie

A hand grenade was found in front of a home on Snodenhoekpark in Amsterdam Zuidoost on Sunday evening, the police confirmed to AT5.

The police responded to the scene at around 7:45 p.m. on Sunday, after receiving a report that a possible explosive was left at the home's door. The Ministry of Defense's explosive disposal department was called in to investigate. The area around the home was cordoned off while the explosive was examined and safely removed.

The explosive service determined that it was a hand grenade, according to the Amsterdam broadcaster. Why it was left at the home, is not yet clear. 

Hand grenades and other explosives have become a common method in the Netherlands for criminal suspects to try and extort local business owners. They are often found left in front of businesses or tied to their doors. 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.

Before Sunday, the most recent explosive incident in Amsterdam happened on July 16th, when a grenade was found tied to the door of a business on Rozengracht. Last month the city of Amsterdam also closed Hotel Parkview on Korte van Eeghenstraat indefinitely, after an explosive went off near the hotel earlier that month and a grenade was thrown into the hotel in October last year. 

The City of Amsterdam established a task force in April to determine how best to tackle the increasing frequency of the risk posed by explosives used for intimidation, 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 as little as 5 euros per grenade. Aalbersberg took office as the head of the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism in February.