PARAMARIBO, Suriname, Friday July 28, 2017 – Authorities in Suriname are tight-lipped on the country’s first ever arrests of persons believed to be involved in terrorist activities.
Since Sunday, five people who are said to be Muslims have been detained in a secret location by law enforcers. Two of the suspects have been identified as Dutch nationals, and local sources say one of the suspects is the son-in-law of parliamentarian Ronnie Brunswijk.
Brunswijk confirmed that his daughter was also arrested but has since been released.
“My daughter was in the same car with a man with whom she shares a relationship, but…she has been released by police. Police have told me that she’s not a suspect. She was released because she had nothing to do with the matter,” he told local media.
The Ministry of Justice and Police in an official statement explained the arrests were made after “available information [showed] these suspects would carry out activities that are in violation of acts listed in the Criminal Code on terrorism”.
The statement added that there was no indication that the suspects were targeting a specific embassy or foreign interest, amid allegations that US ambassador Edwin Nolan was the target in an assault that was being planned.
“Until now, facts and circumstances and inquiries have not yet revealed that the suspects were a threat to any mission or embassy here,” the ministry said.
The ministry also pointed out that the arrests were not made based on any intelligence provided by foreign agencies.
The family of two of the suspects is shocked by the arrests, claiming that the men are in restricted custody and have not been allowed to contact anyone, even their lawyer.
According to a report in the NL Times, the mother of two boys said her sons were not engaged in terrorist activities.
The family has hired lawyer Raoul Lobo and he told Radio ABC that “everything is very secretive now. We don’t have more information than what we read in the media”.