German police in Mainz today confirmed that the Dutch Judiciary has asked for the extradition of the Syrian man they’ve arrested as he would be the fifth part of a terrorist cell that was simultaneously arrested in Holland and Germany yesterday morning. Most of the arrests took place in the Dutch city of Rotterdam which seems to become embroiled in criminal activities more often than not as of late.
Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam thus far sees no reason to cancel the planned fireworks display in the harbour on New Year’s Eve although social media claims that there are indications that a bomb attack was what the group had in mind.
Rotterdam, Holland and Mainz, Germany
Several local residents confirm a police raid in a flat on the fifth floor of an apartment building at the Stresemannplaats in Rotterdam-Ommoord. A resident of the apartment wrote on Facebook that there were twenty police officers with drawn weapons on the fifth floor.
According to her, the door of one of her neighbours is now in '100,000 pieces'. There was also a raid on the Söderblomplaats in Ommoord. Laptops, telephones and other electronic equipment have been seized.
Immediately after the arrests, five or six homes were searched in Rotterdam. What products this has yielded is still unknown. The seized goods are being analyzed. The research will continue in the coming days, with the emphasis on the nature and scope of the terrorist threat. Because of the ongoing investigation, the police refuses to make further announcements.
One of the suspects is believed to have an Egyptian passport and a Palestinian background. Two others are from Syria, including the 26-year-old suspect who was arrested in Germany. This Rotterdam citizen did not officially live in Germany and never came in contact with the police before. The house where he is staying in Mainz has been searched.
Police sources claim that the five arrests were not preceded by a lengthy investigation, but that neighbours are extra alert at this time of the year and take every signal seriously.
The arrests of seven terror suspects in Rotterdam last September were the result of an in-depth and long-term investigation. This group was according to justice in 'very advanced stage in terms of preparations for committing an attack'. Two suspects lived in Rotterdam. One in Vlaardingen.
Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam explained on Dutch TV that the arrests are no reason to increase the security measures surrounding the New Year's Eve celebration in the city or to cancel the planned fireworks on the Erasmus Bridge.
The Mayor stated: “I will be there myself. If I also had a signal that it would not go well, I would not let it go ahead. But police gave me no indication for this. We have finetuned our police antenna in Rotterdam. Of course, people are always frightened when this happens around the holiday period. You think, there we go again. But we are very keen and alert to possible terror threats."
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