AMSTERDAM — Seven police were arrested during raids by elite anti-terrorism police in the Netherlands on Friday.
The operation was designed to prevent terror attacks. It was ordered by the national detective unit as part of an investigation into a terrorist organisation, a spokesperson for the office of the public prosecutor (OM) said.
The suspects were held in Almere, Amsterdam and The Hague. Six of the suspects are men, aged 18 to 30. The seventh is a 24-year-old woman. One of the men is 19-year-old Samir A., the OM spokesperson said.
A. was cleared by a court earlier this year of charges he was plotting terrorist attacks on a nuclear power station and other key installations in the Netherlands. He is considered the main suspect in the latest investigation.
Reports received by the Dutch intelligence service AIVD suggested, the OM said, that A. was trying to obtain automatic weapons and explosives.
Due to the perceived danger, Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner granted permission for the use of elite BBE-SIE police units to carry out the arrests.
Earlier on Friday, it was reported shots had been as police raided a building on the Moerweg in The Hague. Witnesses reported seeing masked men with automatic weapons entering a flat complex.
Also on Friday, police sealed off the parliament buildings in The Hague as a precaution.