Two telecom transmission masts were found burning in Almere overnight, one at Sportpark de Marken and one on Sluiskade. The fires were small and easy to extinguish, but the extent of the damage caused to the transmission masts is not yet clear, NOS reports.
The police are investigating at both locations. Whether arson was involved is not clear, though as these brought the total number of fires at transmission masts in the Netherlands up to nine since Friday, it seems likely. Over the past days transmission towers were torched in Oudenbosch, Veldhoven, Groningen, Liessen and Tilburg.
The arson appears to be aimed at stopping the rollout of the 5G network, which many fake news reports linked to the spread of the coronavirus. The “theory” that 5G destroys the immune system is widely shared on social media. There is no scientific evidence to support this.
The national coordinator counterterrorism and security NCTV called the sabotage “a worrying development”. Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security spoke of “an attack on our emergency services and with it our society”. Disabling masts can put lives at risks because they are “vital” for the operation of the emergency services, he said.