Dutch court jails Muslim militants

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Four Muslim militants have been jailed in the Netherlands for planning attacks on prominent anti-Islam politicians and the headquarters of the Dutch intelligence service.

Dutch-Moroccan Samir Azzouz, 20, was given eight years for plotting attacks and possessing firearms “with terrorist intent”. Three others, including a woman, received prison terms of three to four years.

Two other suspects were acquitted although one was given a three-month sentence for giving false information on identity papers.

Azzouz was acquitted of planning attacks in 2005 only to be re-arrested months later under new anti-terrorism laws. He was initially held following the murder of film-maker Theo van Gogh in 2004 by another Dutch-Moroccan, Mohammed Bouyeri.

During the six-week trial, prosecutors told the court how Azzouz and his co-defendants were found in possession of weaponry, ammunition, manuals explaining how to turn mobile phones into detonators and PC files of jihad training manuals.

They also said Azzouz had asked a man to help him carry out a suicide attack on the headquarters of the Dutch intelligence service and presented a martyr-style video made by Azzouz in which he stated in Arabic: “We will spill your blood here as you have spilled the blood of Muslim citizens in Iraq.”

Azzouz was acquitted in 2005 of charges he planned attacks although he received a three-month prison sentence for possession of weapons, which he served.

He was re-arrested later that year on suspicion of a new plot after intense surveillance by Dutch intelligence.

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Dec. 1, 2006
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This post was last updated: Sep. 12, 2011