Dutch police have arrested two men this week on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack during the December holiday season using explosive vests and car bombs.
Police arrested the two men, aged 20 and 34, in the town of Zoetermeer on Monday with the Public Prosecution Service stating that the suspects are part of the radical Islamic scene in the Netherlands and were actively looking for instructions to make explosives, broadcaster BNR reports.
Ferry van Veghel of the Public Prosecution Service said that one of the suspects is from the Netherlands, while the other is a migrant from Iran. Mr van Veghel noted: “These people were looking for methods to learn how to make and use bombs.”
Investigators say no explosive materials or firearms were found during the arrest of the two men, but police did uncover a hidden compartment in the ceiling of the home of one of the men which contained a dagger, an axe, and a mobile phone with several SIM cards.
Much of the investigation into the activities of the pair was conducted by infiltrators, according to the broadcaster.
On Wednesday, the mother of the younger suspect spoke to Dutch media claiming that she had never met the older suspect and had no idea how her son had come into contact with him.
She claimed the man must have influenced her son who she said attended a mosque in Zoetermeer as well as sometimes attending a mosque in The Hague.
The alleged foiled terror plot comes after four people were shot dead on a tram in Utrecht in March by Turkish national Gokmen Tanis who was charged with murder with a terrorist objective.
Just over a year ago, Dutch authorities uncovered two alleged terror plots within just 48 hours, arresting five people in Rotterdam and another man in the same city two days later.