The Netherlands escaped a terrorist attack that could've resulted in "dozens of victims" with the arrest of seven suspects in Arnhem and Weert in September last year, the Public Prosecutor said in court on Thursday - the first proforma hearing in this case. Only three of the six suspects still in detention were present at the hearing, AD reports.
The police infiltrated the group of seven suspects arrested last month for planning a major attack in the Netherlands. An undercover cop made contact with main suspect Hardi N., pretended to be an "attack planner" for terrorist organization Islamic State, and helped the group to plan their attack and arrange weapons, RTL Nieuws and NRC report.
The authorities in Arnhem has been intensively monitoring a group of about 25 radicalized Muslims for some time, mayor Ahmed Marcouch said. The seven men arrested last week on suspicion of planning a major terrorist attack in the Netherlands, belonged to this group, De Gelderlander reports.
The youngest of the suspected terrorists arrested on Thursday, was previously arrested for taking selfies with F-16 fighter jets at the military airbase in Volkel, according to the Telegraaf. At that time 21-year-old Wail el A. was already once convicted for a failed attempt to travel to Syria and join a terrorist organization there, the newspaper writes.