Syrian teenager arrested after telling refugees he fought for IS

Prison interior with dramatic lightAn 18-year-old Syrian teenager has been arrested after telling asylum seekers in Zaandam he is a soldier for Al-Qaida and IS.

He was arrested in The Hague on Monday after fellow asylum seekers tipped off the authorities. He is now being questioned about his possible involvement in terrorism, news agency ANP reports.

A public prosecution spokesman told broadcaster RTV NH that there is no concrete evidence the teenager was planning to launch terrorist attacks in the Netherlands. He came to the Netherlands in October and applied for asylum.

Labour MP Attje Kuiken said the case is ‘serious’. ‘We have to wait for the results of the investigation but we want to know if screening is thorough enough and if we could have identified him earlier,’ the MP said.

Christian Democrat MP Mona Keijzer referred to a recent report showing that border checks on new arrivals are weak and that many people have no papers with them.

Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam PVV, said a terrorist attack in the Netherlands is simply a matter of time. Prime minister Mark Rutte will be jointly responsible if there is an attack for ‘letting them all in’, he said.

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