Dutch police arrested a 32-year-old French citizen allegedly linked to Reda Kriket, a man accused of plotting a terror attack against France.
The 32-year-old man, who was not identified, was arrested Sunday in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, officials said. The French Justice Ministry requested the man’s arrest Sunday, Dutch police said.
The French citizen is suspected of involvement in planning a terror attack. It’s not clear why he was in the Netherlands, but Dutch police said they expect to hand over the man to France “soon.”
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve congratulated French and Dutch police for arrests that “foil(ed) an attack on our soil.”
Thwarted plot was in ‘advanced stage’
French authorities arrested Kriket near Paris on Thursday, foiling a terror plot that was in an “advanced stage” of planning,” the interior minister said.
He said Kriket’s arrest came after several weeks of investigation — before the terror attacks in Brussels that left 28 people dead and hundreds wounded.
Kriket’s arrest Thursday also led police to raid an apartment in Argenteuil, also near Paris, authorities said. Officials believe Kriket rented the Argenteuil apartment.
There, they seized 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of the explosive TATP and a Kalashnikov rifle, according to a source briefed on the investigation.
Argenteuil Mayor Georges Mothron said investigators also found materials to make even more explosives.
Court documents: Kriket linked to Paris attacks suspect
The exact relationship between Kriket, 34, and the man arrested Sunday in the Netherlands has not been released.
But Kriket has been linked to the suspected ringleader of last year’s Paris terror attacks, according to Belgian court documents.
In July 2015, a Belgian court found Kriket guilty in absentia for involvement in a jihadist network, the documents state. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The court also convicted Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who would later become the suspected ringleader of the November Paris attacks that killed at least 130 people. Days after those attacks, Abaaoud was killed in a police raid.
investigators also found materials to make more explosives, Argenteuil Mayor Georges Mothron said.
Europe on alert
Just as they did with the Paris terror attacks, ISIS claimed responsibility for the Brussels bombings.
The terrorism left Europeans fearing another attack. Officials said investigators are aware of other ISIS plots in Europe that are in various stages of planning.
So far this year, French authorities have arrested 75 people as part of the fight against terrorism. Those arrests have led to 37 people being placed under formal investigation and to 28 others being incarcerated, Cazeneuve said.