The two suspects who were caught in the act of placing a fire bomb at a portico in Rotterdam last night are boys aged 14 and 15. Officers saw on surveillance footage that the porch on Van Speykstraat was being tampered with. They were therefore able to apprehend the two even before the explosive went off.
The boys are both from Rotterdam. The police are investigating their role in placing the explosive, which was found in front of the building last night. Specialists are also investigating the incendiary bomb further.
It has been restless in the Van Speykstraat in the Oude Westen district in recent days. An explosive device exploded on Tuesday night, damaging several homes. The next day, an adjacent building was shot at in the morning.
Not only in the Van Speykstraat, but also in other places in the Rotterdam region, explosions and shootings have been occurring more often recently. On Monday, for example, there was also an explosion at a building on Crooswijkseweg in Crooswijk.
No one was injured, but several homes were damaged. The police announced yesterday that a 32-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the explosions in Rotterdam in recent days.
Due to the many explosions, the police set up a special team to better map out the attacks on homes. Officers patrol more high-risk areas such as Van Speykstraat or watch live camera images in the city. According to the police, this led to the arrest of the two teenagers last night.
Earlier, mayor Aboutaleb told NOS that there is a suspicion that the recent violent incidents are related to the drug trade. Because about 60 percent of the cocaine in the port of Rotterdam is now intercepted, according to him, criminals would blame each other and try to intimidate each other with attacks.
After last Tuesday’s explosion, the police said that young men are often used for this purpose. The boys are approached in the neighborhood or online via Snapchat or Telegram, for example, to place the explosives for money.
“Then they think: that’s easy money. But often they don’t even know for whom or why they’re doing it,” said a police spokesman. “They do not realize at all what they are doing with such a street, how much damage they cause and how frightening they can make people in such a street. But also how annoying it can be for themselves. There is simply a hefty punishment for that And they don’t always realize that.”
- Boys aged 14 and 15 caught with fire bomb in Rotterdam
- Bullet rain in a Rotterdam street where an explosive exploded yesterday
- Another explosion in the Rotterdam district of Crooswijk
- Explosion in portico in Rotterdam, homes evacuated