Beyond the Bricks: Week of 9/24
by Abby Bratton | published Oct. 3rd, 2018
Suspected Terrorist Plot Foiled in the Netherlands
Seven men have been arrested in the Dutch towns of Arnhem and Weert for their alleged involvement in a major extremist attack. The arrests took place on Sept. 27, 2018 as part of an investigation that has gone on for months, following a tip received in April. The Associated Press reported that the prosecution released a statement that said, “The men were attempting to obtain AK-47 assault rifles, handguns, bomb vests, grenades and raw materials for bombs and were looking for opportunities to train with such weapons.” The men were in possession of five handguns at the time of their arrest, and three had been previously arrested for attempting to travel abroad for the purpose of joining extremist militant groups. It is believed that the men intended to carry out multiple attacks. The threat profile of the Netherlands is currently at a four out of five and remains unchanged by the arrests.
Iraqi Activist Shot in Basra; Violent Protests Continue
Iraqi human rights activist Suad al-Ali was killed on Sept. 25, 2018 in the city of Basra, outside of a supermarket by an unidentified man, and another man who may have been her husband was injured in the attack. Ali headed an organization called al-Weed al-Alaiami For Human Rights and stood in support of anti-government demonstrations in the city. BBC News reported that this recent wave of protests is based on “public anger at issues including poor infrastructure, contaminated water, and a lack of jobs.”
Demonstrations have been ongoing for over three months now. On Sept. 7, 2018, protesters set fire to government buildings, including the Iranian consulate. On the morning of Sept. 12, 2018, civilians were killed in an attempt to disperse a crowd of demonstrators. While protests were briefly halted, they continued on the day of Ali's death as nearly 1,000 participants flooded the streets.
Two Rescues at Sea This September
Sailor Abhilash Tomy was rescued four days after messaging for help when his boat was caught in a storm that rolled through the Indian Ocean. Tomy, a commander in the Indian navy, was participating in the Golden Globe round-the-world solo sailing competition until his boat was smashed and his back severely injured in the rough weather. While the race disavows the use of electronic equipment, an exception is made for communications gear. Due to this, Tomy was able to send word that he had been immobilized.
A multinational rescue effort was launched and Tomy was found by a French fishing boat. He is now being treated at a medical facility on Amsterdam Island. The Indian Navy tweeted a message on his behalf about his experience of being “pitched against the nature’s might.” Of the 18 competing in the Golden Globe, two boats (including Tomy’s) were dismasted in the storm, and only nine sailors remain in the race.
This was not the only successful sea rescue of the past several weeks. Earlier this month, Indonesian teenager Aldi Novel Adilang returned home after drifting for 49 days in a rompong — a floating fish trap. Adilang was working on the rompong about 77 miles off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi when it broke free of its moorings. He was carried almost to Guam, thousands of miles away, before a Panamanian boat picked up his emergency radio signal and was able to retrieve him. After the ship reached its destination, Adilang flew back home. He is reportedly in good health despite the ordeal.