Two arrested in Rotterdam for preparing terrorist act

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On Sunday evening the police arrested two men, age 22 and 27 years, in the Bloemhof district of Rotterdam. They are suspected of preparing for a terrorist crime and participating in a terrorist organization, the Public Prosecutor announced after their arraignment on Thursday. 

The arrests were made based on information from intelligence and security service AIVD. The suspects' home was searched and phones and data carriers were seized. No weapons or explosives were found.

Another man was arrested in the vicinity of the home. He turned out to be in the Netherlands illegally and was transferred to the immigration service. 

The two suspected terrorists were remanded into custody for two weeks on Thursday. They are in restricted custody, which means they are only allowed contact with their lawyers and the authorities.

The two men moved into the home above meeting center Sultan a few months ago, a neighbor told newspaper AD. "You hardly ever saw them outside. And when they walked in front of the door to go inside, they always looked at the ground. They never greeted, they always turned their faces away."

Another neighbor called the suspects "weird guys", according to the newspaper. "They looked very wary wary and were very skittish. The luxaflex [blinds] were always closed, even during the day." 

"When the square suddenly filled with police cars, I first thought of a robbery", a third local resident said to the newspaper. "Because I did not see or hear anything in the media the following days, I thought that nothing was going on. If you then hear that two terrorists were living across from you, my heart almost stopped. The misery is so very close."

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