Authorities neutralise specific threat posed by Arnhem-based terrorist network

On Thursday the police arrested seven men, thereby eliminating a concrete threat posed by a terrorist network. As ever, though, vigilance remains essential. There is no reason to avoid public events; at the same time it is important to be realistic: 100% security is impossible to guarantee.

The arrests were reported yesterday by the Public Prosecution Service. Police started their investigation based on intelligence from the Dutch Intelligence Service in April 2018. Yesterday, the authorities acted on serious suspicions that the group had reached an advanced stage in planning a major terrorist attack in the Netherlands. The NCTV was given advance notification of the arrests.

The suspects were arrested in Arnhem and Weert in the late afternoon. They are from Arnhem (3), Rotterdam (2), Huissen (1) and Vlaardingen (1). According to the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) this arrest has eliminated the acute threat. These actions on the part of the police and the Public Prosecution Service underscore the effective cooperation between the various security agencies. They also illustrate the need for an ongoing focus on jihadist returnees currently in the Netherlands.

The arrests are consistent with the current threat level (4 out of 5), meaning that the chance of an attack is still real, and vigilance remains essential. There is no reason to raising the threat level from 4 to 5.