Somali terror suspect arrested in Dutch asylum centre

By our news staff

Dutch police have arrested a Somali asylum seeker whom the Americans suspect of aiding international terrorism.

The 43-year-old Somali was arrested at an asylum seekers facility in Dronten on Saturday night. The United States has requested his extradition.

The US suspects the Somali of aiding international jihad. He allegedly arranged the purchase of weapons for terrorists and aided others in travelling to Somalia for training in a camp run by the Al-Shabaab militia.

The Somali was detained for a 60-day period pending a decision about his extradition to the US. A spokesperson for the public prosecutor's office says a Rotterdam court will decide whether or not he will be extradited, but the ultimate decision lies with the justice minister.

The justice minister can decide against extradition even if the court has no objections. He can also add conditions, for instance that the suspect will not be given the death penalty. According to the prosecutor's office the death penalty is not an issue in the Somali's case.

The suspect resided in Minneapolis in the US and probably arrived in the Netherlands in December 2008. The justice ministry is unable to explain for now how he could have entered the asylum procedure in the Netherlands.

In 2007 the Netherlands extradited another terror suspect, Wesam al D., a Dutch national from Amersfoort, to the US. Al D. was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his involvement in attacks on US military in Iraq. He was allowed to serve his sentence in the Netherlands.

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