Germany to extradite Syrian terror suspect to Netherlands

The 26-year-old Syrian was arrested in the German city of Mainz on December 29. (File/AFP)
Updated 09 January 2019
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Germany to extradite Syrian terror suspect to Netherlands

  • The 26-year-old Syrian was arrested in the German city of Mainz on December 29
  • The same day four alleged co-conspirators were detained in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam.

BERLIN: A German court on Wednesday ordered the extradition to the Netherlands of a Syrian suspected of planning a “terrorist crime” there along with four other accused.
The 26-year-old Syrian was arrested in the German city of Mainz on December 29, the same day four alleged co-conspirators were detained in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam.
Dutch police at the time said the men were suspected of “involvement in the preparation of a terrorist crime,” without giving further details.
The higher regional court in Koblenz said in a statement that it had approved the Dutch authorities’ extradition request for the Syrian.
The transfer is expected to take place “early next week,” Koblenz prosecutor Juergen Brauer added in a separate statement.
The Netherlands has been largely spared the kind of terror attacks which have rocked its closest European neighbors in the past few years, but there has been a series of recent scares.
Last June two terror suspects were arrested while close to carrying out attacks including at an iconic bridge in Rotterdam and in France, prosecutors said.
In August a 19-year-old Afghan with a German residence permit stabbed and injured two American tourists at Amsterdam’s busy Central Station before being shot and wounded.
In September Dutch investigators said they had arrested seven people and foiled a “major attack” on civilians at a large event in the Netherlands.
They said they had found a large quantity of bomb-making materials including fertilizer likely to be used in a car bomb.


At least 10 dead as fire rages on Black Sea ships

Updated 22 January 2019
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At least 10 dead as fire rages on Black Sea ships

  • Twelve people were rescued from the burning vessels but there was little hope of finding any more survivors
  • The strait connects both Russian and Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea to the Black Sea

MOSCOW: Ten crew died and another 10 were missing presumed dead in a fire that broke out on two ships while they were transferring fuel in the Black Sea, Russia’s Transport Ministry said on Tuesday.
The vessels which caught fire on Monday have the same names as two Tanzania-flagged ships, the Maestro and Venice, which last year were included on a US sanctions advisory as delivering fuel to Syria.
Twelve people were rescued from the burning vessels but there was little hope of finding any more survivors, a spokesman for the Transport Ministry’s maritime unit said. The focus had switched from a rescue operation to a search for bodies, he added.
The spokesman said the vessels, which had a combined crew of 32, were still on fire and rough no attempts were being made to put out the blaze because of rough sea conditions.
Russian maritime officials said on Monday that the vessels were carrying out a ship-to-ship transfer of fuel in the Kerch Strait, which separates Crimea from Russia.
On Nov. 20 last year, the US Treasury Department added nine Russian and Iranian individuals and companies on its sanctions list for participating in the shipment of petroleum to Syria.
It also issued an advisory note warning of the potential sanctions risk for any entities involved in such shipments which listed 35 ships, including the Maestro and Venice, as having delivered oil to Syria between 2016 and 2018.
Reuters reported in December that both the Maestro and Venice continued operations after the Treasury announcement, and regularly entered Crimea’s Temryuk port, according to Refinitiv data.
In the port, liquefied petroleum gas of Russian and Kazakh origin is transferred onto tankers for export, via the Kerch Strait.
The strait, between Russian-annexed Crimea and southern Russia, connects both Russian and Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea to the Black Sea.
In November, Russia detained three Ukrainian navy vessels and their crews in the vicinity of the strait, fueling tensions between the two countries. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.