Arsonists are thought to have set fire to at least six telecommunications masts in the Netherlands in recent days, and officials suspect there is a link with conspiracy theorists who say the coronavirus pandemic has been caused by the rollout of 5G services.
According to a new report from Engadget, Dutch mobile phone providers have alerted the counter terrorism unit NCTV to the fires, which appear to have started in cables at ground level. The text “Fuck 5G” had been sprayed at the location of one fire in Deurne in Noord-Brabant.
The Netherlands has experienced a string of arson attacks in the past fortnight, with the latest one happening on Friday in the northern city of Groningen, according to a report by newspaper De Telegraaf.
The ultra-fast cellular connections “are desperately needed for hospitals and nursing homes, for example, and then there are those who deliberately set radio masts on fire,” said Rob Bongelaar, director of the Monet Foundation, an industry group in charge of installing cellular broadcasting towers in the country. He added that Dutch mobile service providers are still doing their utmost to keep their networks running “in this difficult time.”
The NCTV said in a statement that protests about telecom masts are not new but that this sort of “extremist” action is a “worrying development.” “We are in close contact with the police and providers and are monitoring the situation,” the NCTV said.
The Dutch phone providers’ association Monet has described the arson as “unacceptable” and points out that the telecoms network is essential to ensure the emergency services can be alerted and that hospitals and nursing homes can communicate.
As in some other European countries, these Dutch activists seem to believe 5G antennas emit radiation, thus provoking incurable illnesses like COVID-19.