Monday, December 04, 2006

Judge slams Hofstadgroup terror cell

Four Islamic terrorists (Dutch) received serious convictions from the Amsterdam Court last Friday:
AMSTERDAM — A court in Amsterdam sentenced Samir A. and three other Islamic militants to prison on Friday for planning terror attacks on politicians and the intelligence service AIVD.

Samir A., 20, was jailed for eight years and three others — Nourrdin El F., Mohammed C. en Soumaya S. — received terms of between three and four years.

Some of suspects were alleged to have links to the Hofstad group, whose leader was convicted of killing filmmaker Theo van Gogh.
This refers to Mohammed Bouyeri, the assassin of Theo van Gogh.

Two other defendants were acquitted of terror charges.
The presiding judge at the heavily-secured Amsterdam-Osdorp court said A. had been striving to carry out his terrorist aims for several years.

The Dutch-Moroccan A. was said to be the ringleader of the suspects.

Although he had been placed on trial several times previously, this is the first time that A. has been convicted.

The public prosecution had demanded a 15-year jail term against him.

The court ruled that evidence presented in the case suggested A. was planning an "imminent terror attack".

The evidence included a suicide video, automatic weapons and manuals explaining how to turn mobile phones into detonators.
This conviction is the result of new anti-terrorist laws, that have been put on the books in the last 2 years. These law outlaw "membership of a terrorist organisation" and "preparations to carry out violence. The judge accepted "preparations to carry out violence" with regards to Samir Azzouz and three others members of the Hofstad terror cell, but not "membership of a terrorist organisation".

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