Friday, December 01, 2006

A Dutch court has sentenced four militant Islamists to prison for planning terror attacks on politicians and the Dutch intelligence service

BBC News:

Samir Azzouz, 20, was sentenced to eight years while three others received terms of between three and four years.

Some of the group were alleged to have links to the so-called Hofstad group, whose leader was convicted of the killing of film-maker Theo Van Gogh.

Two other defendants were acquitted of terror charges.

The presiding judge said Dutch-Moroccan Azzouz, the ringleader of the group, had been striving to carry out his terrorist aims for several years.

The court ruled that evidence presented in the case suggested that Amsterdam-born Azzouz was planning an "imminent terror attack".

During the six-week trial, the court was shown a suicide video, automatic weapons and manuals explaining how to turn mobile phones into detonators.

In its ruling the court said that the suicide video, made by Azzouz, was meant to "strike fear into the Dutch people".

Prosecutors claimed that the loosely-linked group was an extension of the Hofstad group, whose leader Mohammed Bouyeri is currently serving life in prison for murdering Mr Van Gogh.

Two other men - Mourridin El Fatmi and Mohammed Chentouf - were sentenced to four years in prison and the only female defendant in the case - Soumaya Sahla - received a three-year sentence.

Azzouz's acquittal last year on charges that he planned attacks led to calls for tougher legislation.

He was re-arrested in October 2005 after being closely watched by Dutch intelligence services.

Correspondents say the case has been seen as test case for the Netherlands' recently-introduced tighter anti-terror laws which allow suspects to be tried for attacks that security forces believe they are planning.

Samir A. militants jailed for plotting terror attacks

Eight year sentence for Dutch terror suspect

Netherlands: Islamist Samir Azzouz Is Jailed At Last - For Eight Years


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