Dutch police arrest 2 men suspected of year-end terror plot

November 26, 2019 GMT

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Police counterterror officers have arrested two men suspected of plotting a jihadi attack using suicide vests and one or more car bombs, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

The two, aged 20 and 34, were arrested by anti-terror squads on Monday, according to a statement issued by the National Prosecutor’s Office.

The men are suspected of plotting an attack around the end of the year. The exact target is not clear.

Police who arrested the men and searched their homes found no explosives or firearms.

An ax and a dagger were found concealed above the ceiling in one of the men’s homes in the town of Zoetermeer, about 10 kilometers (6 miles) east of The Hague, prosecutors said.

The arrests followed an investigation launched in October following a tip off to police by the main Dutch intelligence agency that the suspects had the intention of staging an attack using explosives and were seeking training.

Prosecutors said undercover police were used to monitor the suspects and gather evidence in the investigation.

The Netherlands has long been at level four of a five-step scale of alertness for terrorist attacks, meaning that there is a “substantial” risk.

In March, a Dutch man of Turkish descent opened fire in a tram in the central city of Utrecht, killing four people. Prosecutors say the gunman had a terrorist motive.