One man, aged 20 was arrested at his home in Zoetermeer on Monday by heavily armed police officers. The second man, also from Zoetermeer and aged 34, was arrested on a public street in The Hague. Both were picked up following a tip-off by the security services that an attack was being planned.
The prosecution department suspects the men of plotting to use suicide bomb belts and car bombs in the attacks, which were set to take place at the end of the year. No targets have been identified and no explosives or guns were found during searches of their homes. ‘We have serious suspicions they were preparing to carry out a terrorist attack but were still in the planning phase,’ the public prosecutor said. An axe, a dagger and a mobile phone with multiple sim cards was found in a secret ceiling compartment in one home.
The parents of a 20-year-old man . . . shocked by the accusations against their son. “We never expected this. If it is true, we strongly reject it. But we hope it’s not true”, the parents said to newspaper AD.
The 20-year-old man has Dutch nationality, but his family is originally from Iraq. The parents moved to the Netherlands in 1992 and all three their children were born here. Local residents told AD that he recently grew a short beard and regularly went to a mosque in The Hague. His parents confirmed that he was “very concerned with religion”, while the rest of the family is not.
A second suspect arrested on Monday, a 34-year-old man, is from Iran, according to the newspaper. So far little is known about the … suspect. He was arrested in his car in The Hague. According to AD, he also lived in Zoetermeer.
The suspects are in restricted custody, which means that they are only allowed contact with their lawyers. It also means that the authorities and lawyers can’t say much about the investigation or suspicions against the suspects. They will be arraigned on Thursday.
No report, or not in an English language publication, of what happened in court yet.