AP NEWS

Dutch firebrand Wilders: Man with knives detained at event

March 11, 2019
FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 3, 2017 file photo, Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders addresses the media at the Belgian federal parliament in Brussels. Wilders tweeted on Monday, March 11, 2019, about an incident over the weekend in which a man carrying two knives and an ax was detained shortly before the Dutch politician was due to hand out political flyers ahead of provincial elections. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A man carrying two knives and an ax was detained over the weekend shortly before anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders was due to hand out political flyers before provincial elections.

Wilders tweeted about the incident Monday. The country’s counter-terrorism coordinator confirmed that the man was carrying knives and an ax but declined to release any further details about the man or whether he faced charges.

Wilders, who is known for his strident anti-Islam rhetoric, lives under round-the-clock protection following years of death threats.

Wilders complimented law enforcement authorities for their alertness, saying they “prevented a lot of misery.”

The incident happened Saturday in the southern town of Heerlen. Wilders tweeted then that counterterror officials told him a “confused man” had been detained a few minutes before his arrival.