THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch police have arrested seven men who are suspected of plotting a large scale extremist attack in the Netherlands that prosecutors say they think has been foiled.
The national prosecutor’s office said in a statement that the men were arrested by heavily armed police in the towns of Arnhem and Weert.
The statement says the arrests capped a month’s long investigation that was launched by intelligence suggesting the alleged ring leader, a 34-year-old man of Iraqi heritage, wanted to carry out a major extremist attack on a large event and cause multiple casualties.
Prosecutors say the suspects wanted to attack an event site using bomb vests and assault rifles, and planned to detonate a car bomb at another location.
They say an investigation of potential targets is continuing.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Tiny pants for a baby no older than 6 months and shiny pink sandals for a toddler are among the personal items that have turned up at mass graves in the Gulf state of Veracruz, driving home the brutality of rising violence in Mexico.
Mexican authorities have found remains of children along with adults in the clandestine burial pits, a person with knowledge of the investigation confirmed. Each item of clothing was either found near a body or cut free from remains. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the details publicly.
The National Commission of Missing Persons posted online hundreds of pictures of clothing to give family members a tool to possibly identify missing loved ones. The images include polo shirts with logos still intact, socks, shoes, colorful boxer briefs and ladies’ panties. One T-shirt says “Live Free” above a picture of a young woman and flowers.
Photos also show multiple children’s items, such as little sweaters or T-shirts with images of Tinkerbell, Tweety Bird and Pokemon.
Authorities announced the discovery of the mass graves in early September after having counted 166 skulls. The Interior Ministry said that the body count had since risen to 174. Digging continues at the sites and the picture catalog will be updated as additional garments are found.
It’s unusual for Mexican authorities to share forensic evidence from an investigation that is underway. But thousands of Mexicans are clamoring for information about relatives who have disappeared since the government declared war on drug cartels more than a decade ago.
Criminal groups have reportedly detained entire busloads of passengers in Veracruz in recent years, sometimes robbing passengers and other times taking people away.
CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois judge vacated the convictions of 18 more men investigated by a corrupt Chicago police sergeant, with a state’s attorney later in the day apologizing for what they had to go through.
The latest dismissals, which prosecutors had requested, brings to 42 the total number of individuals investigated by then-Sgt. Ronald Watts who have had their convictions tossed in recent years. Watts and his crew of tactical officers allegedly shook down drug suspects, planted evidence and arranged false testimony to secure convictions.
One man cleared, Martez Wise, spent time behind bars after Watts and another officer arrested him in 2006, falsely accusing him of spitting drugs out of his mouth.
“I’m just happy that I’m able to move forward with my life,” he said. “It’s been four years out of my life that I had to be away from my family and kids. They had to suffer too because I had to be away from them
Authorities arrested Watt and another officer in 2012 after they shook down a drug courier who turned out to be an FBI informant. Watts received a 22-month sentence.
Joel Flaxman, an attorney for six of the men whose convictions were thrown out, said in a statement that the justice system ignored the men for over a decade.
“The system is finally listening, and we are finally seeing a measure of justice and accountability,” he said.
The latest reversals involve drug cases brought between 2003 and 2008. The defendants received sentences ranging from probation to several years in prison, so any imprisoned have long since been released.
A conviction-integrity unit is still looking at other cases involving Watts and his men.