Arrest made in terrorism bomb plot at Dutch Covid-19 vaccination site
Police in Den Helder arrested a 37-year-old man who was allegedly plotting to cause an explosion at a Covid-19 vaccination facility there. He is suspected of having "terrorist intent" by planning to use fireworks to bomb the site, the public prosecution service (OM) said.
It was not yet known if he was working with any accomplices.
"With his actions, the accused intended to terrify the population and to disrupt the economic and social structures of the country," the OM said in a statement. The allegations include a claim that he, "has attempted to sabotage a crucial government process, namely the nationally coordinated vaccination program, in an extremely violent manner."
The arrest was disclosed on Thursday, though it took place on March 18. The suspect, who is also from the Noord-Holland city, has been in custody since his arrest. At a hearing on Wednesday, a magistrate ordered that he be kept in pre-trial detention for at least another 90 days.
The case is not an isolated incident of violence against a coronavirus test location or a Covid-19 vaccination point. Last month, an explosive was detonated at a test facility in Bovenkarspel which shocked many in government. Suspicious flammable material was also found at a location in Hilversum, and a test center was set on fire in Urk. Two others were also arrested when they used social media to say they wanted someone to burn down a test facility in Eindhoven.
The regional health service GGD Hollands Noord announced plans for the Den Helder vaccination site in February. It was slated to open in March at the former city hall on Drs. F. Bijlweg. It was the third site opened to serve the region, after larger facilities were set up in Alkmaar and Middenmeer.