Dutch freeze accounts of Hofstadgroep members
April 21, 2006
Dutch freeze terrorist financesÂ
The Dutch government has frozen the accounts and all known assets of convicted members of the terrorist Hofstadgroep organisation. Foreign Minister Ben Bot and Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm signed the order last month in accordance with the anti-terrorism measures adopted by the UN Security Council after the September 11 attacks in 2001. European Union agreements and a Dutch law from 1977 also form the basis for such a ban. As a result, people convicted of membership of the home-grown Muslim terrorist group are now prevented from investing in shares, seeking financial loans or taking out insurance. Banks and insurance companies may no longer do business with them. The measure applies to the Hofstadgroep as an organisation and the nine people convicted of being members.
These include Mohammed Bouyeri, the man who killed film director Theo van Gogh, as well as Jason W, Ismail A. and Nouredine el F. All four were convicted of membership of the group on 10 March 2006. W. and A. were jailed for 15 and 13 years respectively for attempting to murder police officers with a grenade in The Hague. El F. got 5 years for possession of a loaded machine pistol. Bouyeri, described by the judges as the leader of the terrorist group, did not receive any sentence as he is serving life imprisonment for Van Gogh's murder. Five suspects were acquitted due to lack of evidence. One of them, Jermaine W., is demanding EUR 195,000 compensation from the State for the 175 days he spent in custody. He is a brother of Jason W. Born of an American father and Dutch mothers, the brothers are converts to Islam.