Suspects in court as Dutch police ‘foil terror plot to target MPs’

Seven suspected Muslim terrorists appeared before a High Court judge in Rotterdam yesterday accused of plotting terrorist acts.

The men, six of whom are of Moroccan origin, were arrested on Friday in an operation to foil an alleged plot to attack politicians.

Among those arrested during the sweep in three cities was a 19-year-old Dutch-Moroccan, Samir Azzouz, who had been acquitted of terrorist-related charges earlier this year.

Last night the police were said to have obtained an eight-minute recorded farewell message in which Azzouz spoke of an “act” he was about to commit.

Azzouz was accused in April of planning attacks on Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, Rotterdam port and a nuclear reactor.

During Friday’s operation police cordoned off The Hague’s government buildings and MPs were given special protection.

Officials said the suspects, aged from 18 to 30, were detained in The Hague, Amsterdam and Almere.

The raids were staged several weeks before the first anniversary of the killing of Dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh by an Islamic extremist.

Johan Remkes, the home affairs minister, said the suspects had intended to attack the headquarters of the secret service and target MPs Geert Wilders and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born Muslim, is the author of the book which inspired Theo Van Gogh’s film about alleged abuse of Muslim women. The film features an actress whose naked body is covered with extracts from the Koran.


Keep in mind that the vast majority of women who live at Dutch shelters for victims of domestic violence come from an Islamic background

Van Gogh was murdered as he cycled through Amsterdam on Nov 2 last year.

In a note skewered to his chest, Mohammed Bouyeri, the 26-year-old killer who is serving a life sentence for the murder, threatened a list of “infidels” would be slaughtered. The threat drove Wilders and Hirsi Ali into hiding for several months. They now receive around-the-clock police protection.

It is believed that the two politicians had received new death threats recently.

Holland’s hard line minister in charge of state security, Rita Verdonk, introduced plans earlier this year to repatriate several thousand immigrants.

The government has also introduced integration laws requiring immigrants to take Dutch language and culture lessons. Imans found guilty of promoting terrorism in mosques will be expelled.

One MP said yesterday: “We Dutch still advocate freedom and tolerance but we will not have our country seen as a soft touch by undesirables.

“Holland has a good standard of living, our young people are highly educated and cultured.

“Immigrants wishing to settle here and make a contribution are for the most part welcome but we will not be dragged back into the brutal Middle Ages by terrorists.”

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Daily Telegraph, UK
Oct. 18, 2005
Joan Clements in Rotterdam

Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday October 18, 2005.
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