Dutch police have arrested nine men in Eindhoven who they say were preparing to take part in a terrorist attack. The men are aged 18 to 31 and all have Dutch nationality. All but one were born in the Netherlands. The ninth man was born in Afghanistan, the public prosecution department said. The department says the men were ‘sympathetic’ to the jihadist thoughts of ISIS.
They were brought before an examining magistrate in Rotterdam yesterday, to ensure that the arrests were carried out lawfully. In the meantime, the men may only have contact with their lawyers. By the same token, the lawyers may not answer questions on the case. Following their appearance before the examining magistrate yesterday, they were returned to custody. On Wednesday a court will decide on whether their arrest should be extended.
The investigation began in the summer following a tip-off from national security agency AIVD. The raid took place in the early morning of Thursday. Residents in the north of the city were awakened at around 05.00 by helicopters circling overhead. Police then forced entry at eight different addresses. During the raid, no arms or explosives were discovered, but police did recover a large number of data media, including laptops and USB sticks, which will also have to be examined.
Details are not known of exactly what their plans were, but the alleged plot will be investigated further, the public prosecutor’s office said.