Seven arrests were made in Amsterdam on Thursday, six men and one woman, following an anonymous tip-off that they were plotting to attack the city’s busy megastores to claim maximum casualties.
The cinema and many shops were forced to close for the day and, only slightly ironically, a concert by the Killers was cancelled.
One of the suspect’s has been confirmed by Dutch police as the brother of one of the ringleaders of the Madrid train bombing in 2004, which killed 191 and wounded close to 2,000. Jamal Ahmidan, along with several others of his fellow Madrid bombers, has since committed suicide, brave soul that he is.
The tip-off came from an unregistered mobile phone in Brussels, Belgium, and warned that that three men were planning to carry out an attack with explosives in the city’s busiest shops. Mayor of Amsterdam Job Cohen said ‘We couldn’t take any risks.’
How legitimate the warning is remains unknown, nor the motives behind it. If there was a definite threat then the police hope to have stifled it early, though how high up on the terrorist agenda Amsterdam is remains undetermined.