The Hague: Dutch police have arrested a Syrian teen on suspicion of being member of a terror organisation while looking for asylum in the Netherlands, public prosecutors said today.
“An 18-year-old man was arrested in The Hague on Monday after telling fellow asylum seekers that he was a member of IS and al-Qaeda,” the public prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
The Syrian teen arrived in the Netherlands in October and was living on a boat housing asylum seekers in Zaandam, outside Amsterdam, the statement added.
More than 100 Dutch citizens have left the country to join the Islamic State group, but Monday’s arrest will be one of the first cases of a refugee being a suspected jihadist.
The teen has appeared in court on terror charges and remains in custody until his next hearing in two weeks’ time, the statement said.
Last week, the Netherlands announced it would double the number of beds and shelters for tens of thousands of asylum seekers.
As Europe grapples with its biggest flow of migrants since World War II, the Dutch government said an additional 42,500 spaces will be created for new asylum-seekers arriving in the country, of which 10,000 will only be available for three to six months.
A further 24,000 places will be created for people whose requests for asylum have already been granted.
Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty mainly in the Middle East and Africa have landed on European shores in recent months.
A total of about 60,000 refugees are expected to have arrived in the country by the end of the year.