Authorities revealed that the men were making attempts to source AK47s, hand grenades and bomb materials to carry out a sinister act. ">
Thursday Dutch police arrested seven men to foiled a suspected “major terrorist attack” plot. Intelligence services alerted officials, back in April, that the plot’s ringleader sought to target "a large event in the Netherlands where there would be a lot of victims."
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"In a sense it is serious, but luckily it's also good news - a terrorist cell that was plotting an attack has been taken down," Minister for Justice and Security Ferd Grapperhaus told national broadcaster NOS, adding that police acted in time to prevent a major attack.
"They weren't so far that it was a danger to society, in the sense that it was nearly too late. But they were quite far in their preparations."
Authorities revealed that the men were making attempts to source guns and explosives to carry out a sinister act. The police further explained that AK47s, hand grenades and bomb materials were among weapons and devices being sought by the group of individuals.
The ages of the men range from 21 to 34.
Three of the detainees had previously been nabbed while attempting to travel overseas to join foreign militant fighters, reports said. National prosecutors disclosed that the main suspect, a 34-year-old Iraqi, was convicted, in 2017, of trying to travel to fight for an Islamic State group.
"Jihad networks are also active in the Netherlands with the intention to plot attacks in Europe," the Dutch anti-terror coordinator's office stated. "Today's arrests must be seen in that light."
Anti-terrorism teams from the Netherlands Special Interventions Service (DSI) were responsible for the arrest of the men.
The threat level in the Netherlands was pushed to four out of a maximum five, while investigations of potential targets continue.