Court to rule on remanddetention of 'terror group'

7th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

7 February 2005, AMSTERDAM — Twelve Muslim youths accused of terrorist activities appear before Rotterdam Court amid tight security on Monday.

7 February 2005

AMSTERDAM — Twelve Muslim youths accused of terrorist activities appear before Rotterdam Court amid tight security on Monday.

The public prosecutor alleges the suspects were part of a terrorist network — dubbed the Hofstadgroep or Main City Group — which was planning the murders of MPs Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders.

The group was also allegedly planning to kill Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen and the city's Social Affairs Alderman, Moroccan-born Ahmed Aboutaleb.

Members of the group are also suspected of having links to Mohammed B., who was arrested for the murder of Theo van Gogh last November.

Two of the Main City Group suspects, Jason W. and Ismaël A., were arrested on 10 November after special forces officers surrounded their house in The Hague. Four police officers had earlier been injured after a grenade was thrown from the suspects' home.

During a pre-trial hearing on 26 January in the case against B., the court was told that W. and A. visited B. at his Amsterdam Slotervaart home on 1 November, the night before Van Gogh was shot and stabbed to death on a city street.

And Samir A., who is accused of planning attacks against Schiphol Airport and the Dutch Parliament, is also allegedly a member of the group. His trial will start 24 February.

The public prosecutor will need to prove on Monday that there is enough evidence to warrant the continued detention of the 12 suspects. Monday's proceedings are a pre-trial hearing and the trial itself will not start until the prosecution has rounded off its investigation.
 
Meanwhile, no stone was being left unturned in terms of security on Monday as work started early to inspect the heavily-secured court. Specially-trained dogs were being used to search for explosives.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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