The cafe, named Smoke Palace, was targeted before with an explosion in January.
Rabat – An attacker bombed an Amsterdam cafe belonging to a Moroccan resident in the Netherlands on Sunday.
According to the Dutch AT5 television channel, the incident is a part of a “settling of accounts” between drug traffickers of Moroccan origin. The same cafe, named Smoke Palace, was the target of an explosion on the night of January 12.
The owner, Mohamed El Y., does not have a criminal record, but his younger brother, Mustapha, is said to have been on the hit list of one or more gangs involved in the drug trade, according to the television channel.
Mustapha was reportedly warned several times that his life was under threat from competitors.
The attacker used a heavy explosive in the bomb. According to the Dutch newspaper Het Parool, a car drove away after the bomb went off, but the driver was not identified. The police hope that CCTV footage will help identify the perpetrator.
In addition to the cafe, which took thousands of euros worth of damage, the bomb damaged two neighboring buildings considerably. Mayor Femke Halsema will decide this week whether to reopen the cafe or to close it permanently.
Mohamed and Mustapha were born in Morocco, but have lived and worked in Amsterdam for a long time.
In Morocco, drug-related crimes have been on the increase in the last decade. Drug crimes went up from 37,985 cases in 2012 to 85,000 cases in 2017.
In 2018, with enhanced criminal investigations techniques, police seized over 1.3 million psychotropic and ecstasy pills, up 43 percent over 2017.