Dutch arrest suspected Shabab extremist

A policeman stands guard in Tilburg, Netherlands, in this photo taken on April 27 2017. (AFP)
Updated 02 May 2017
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Dutch arrest suspected Shabab extremist

THE HAGUE: Dutch police have arrested a suspected member of the Shabab extremist group following a tip-off from anti-terror authorities, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
“Police arrested a 22-year-old man last Wednesday on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist organization,” the public prosecution service said in a statement.
“According to information received from the Dutch intelligence service (AIVD), the man has since last year been an active member of the Shabab terrorist organization in southern Somalia,” the statement said.
The man, whose name was not given, was seized after leaving the home of a friend in the southern Dutch town of Sint-Oedenrode near Eindhoven, prosecutors said.
Local newspaper Eindhovens Dagblad reported the suspect was a Dutch-Somali national called “Mohamed” who had also lived in Britain for many years.
He appeared before a Rotterdam court last Wednesday on terror-related charges and is still in police custody.
Police also arrested the suspect’s 21-year-old friend but he was later released.
Police in December arrested a suspected Dutch jihadist in Rotterdam and seized an AK-47 assault rifle, two loaded magazines and four boxes of illegal fireworks.
Dutch law enforcement agencies have been on high alert since the November 2015 bombings in Paris, and last year’s March suicide attacks on the Brussels metro and airport.
The Al-Qaeda-linked Shabab jihadist group was forced out of the Somali capital Mogadishu in 2011 by African Union troops but still controls parts of the country.


Sri Lanka parliament to meet in showdown between rival PMs

Updated 14 November 2018
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Sri Lanka parliament to meet in showdown between rival PMs

  • Sri Lanka has been locked in a power struggle since the prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sacked
  • The power struggle has crippled the work of the administration

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s parliament will meet under tight security Wednesday, after the top court ruled its dissolution illegal and opened the door to a vote on which of two rival prime ministers has the support to rule.
Sri Lanka has been locked in a power struggle since the president sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on October 26 and replaced him with former strongman president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
On Tuesday the Supreme Court overruled President Maithripala Sirisena’s dissolution of parliament, and halted preparations for a snap election, in a major boost for the ousted prime minister.
Wickremesinghe is confident he can command a majority and wants a vote on the floor of the 225-member assembly to determine the legitimacy of the government installed by presidential diktat.
“Speaker Karu Jayasuriya ordered the police to ensure that MPs have free access to parliament,” a spokesman for the Speaker said. “There will be tight security.”
Thousands of armed police have been deployed along the key approach roads to parliament, which is located on a man-made lake island, with several anti-riot units on standby.
Parliament officials fear that supporters of Rajapaksa’s party may try to stop legislators getting to parliament.
However, by early Wednesday there were no large crowds and only small pockets of Wickremesinghe supporters gathered near the parliament complex.
Rajapaksa’s party was divided Tuesday on facing a test in parliament. His legislator son Namal Rajapaksa said they will attend the legislature, but other party seniors said they would not.
Sirisena sacked the legislature after his party admitted that they did not have an absolute majority despite engineering the defections of eight legislators from Wickremesinghe’s party.
Since then, at least two legislators have ditched Rajapaksa and joined Wickremesinghe’s UNP party which insists it has a comfortable majority in the House.
Wickremesinghe, who insists he is still the prime minister, has refused to vacate the official Temple Trees residence which is a symbol of state power in the island.
The power struggle has crippled the work of the administration, according to lawmakers on both sides.