Dutch arrest three linked to 2016 Paris terror plot

THE HAGUE (AFP) - Dutch police have arrested three men whose DNA was found on weapons seized in a Paris suburb after law officers foiled a planned 2016 terror attack, Dutch prosecutors said on Tuesday (June 19).

"Police arrested three men on Monday after DNA samples were found on weapons in an Islamic State (in Iraq and Syria) hideout in Argentueil," north-west of the French capital, a statement said.

The arrests came after French police detained a suspect only identified as Reda K. on March 24, 2016, two days after the deadly twin bomb attacks in Brussels that killed 32 people.

There appeared to be no link between the foiled plot and the Brussels attack.

Reda K.'s arrest followed a raid on a hired Argentueil apartment where police discovered five AK-47 assault rifles, handguns, 30 kilograms of explosives, detonators, false passports, mobile phones and Islamist literature.

"French authorities were convinced that with the discovery of the arms cache they prevented a terrorist attack," the Dutch prosecution service said.

Dutch police on Monday arrested a 26-year-old man from the northern city of Groningen and a 30-year-old homeless man without a fixed address.

A third man was detained at Zaanstad near Amsterdam, while a fourth suspect was taken in for questioning in the western town of Sassenheim.

Police "found a match in a Dutch DNA databank" of the profiles of the four suspects with DNA traces left on the weapons and a sports bag found at the Argentueil apartment.

They also confiscated computers, mobile phones and notes as well as a shotgun and a pistol which were discovered at a flat in Groningen.

Dutch police link Reda K. to another suspect, Anis B., who was arrested in Rotterdam in late March 2016 on suspicion of plotting a terror attack ordered by ISIS.

Police recovered 45 kilograms of ammunition in Anis B's apartment, mainly AK-47 rounds.

The three newly arrested suspects will appear before a judge later this week behind closed doors to determine whether they will be given bail.