Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Hofstadgroep leader Samir Azzouz gets 8 years in jail for planned terror attacks on nuclear reactor- parliament -politicans -security services
Hofstadgroep leader Samir Azzouz gets 8 years in jail for planned terror attacks on nuclear reactor- parliament -politicans -security services
December 1, 2006
Translation by Beila Rabinowitz director of MIM
Samir Azzouz must go to jail the court has determined. According the judges the 20 year old is guilty of preparing a terrorist attack. He was planning to attack politicians and the buildng of the intelligence services. Even though he has often stood trial before this, this is the first sentence handed down by the public prosecutor who had asked for 15 years. According to the presiding judge Samir Azzouz had made a video testament where in which he recorded a farewell whch would" make them feel terror."...The court sentenced his accomplices to four and five years. Another suspected accomplice the 20 year old Mohammed H. was facing 20 years but was aquitted. Just as in the case of Samir Azzouz he court the court proved that the suspects were guilty of preparing terrorist attacks and possession of a weapon with terrorist intent.
AMSTERDAM (ANP) - Samir A. moet acht jaar de cel in, zo bepaalde de rechtbank vrijdag. Volgens de rechters heeft de 20-jarige zich schuldig gemaakt aan het voorbereiden van een terroristische aanslag.
Samir A. moet acht jaar de cel in, zo bepaalde de rechtbank vrijdag. Gesluierde belangstellenden kwamen naar de bunker in Amsterdam-Osdorp voor de uitspraak. ANP Photo
Hij zou van plan zijn geweest aanslagen te plegen op politici en het gebouw van de inlichtingendienst AIVD. Hoewel hij al vaker voor de rechter heeft gestaan, is dit de eerste veroordeling voor A. Het Openbaar Ministerie had vijftien jaar celstraf tegen hem geŽist. Volgens de voorzitter van de rechtbank, E. Koning, heeft op het videotestament dat A. maakte, waarop hij een afscheidsboodschap inspreekt, ,,de terreur laten voelen". Het videotestament dat volgens de rechtbank is gemaakt na 10 oktober 2005, is niet anders te zien dan een openbaarmaking aan zijn ouders, zijn naasten en het Nederlandse volk, waarin A. vertelt dat hij het martelaarschap heeft bereikt, aldus de rechtbank. Dat A. een aanslag voorbereidde, zou bovendien blijken uit een telefoongesprek dat hij vorig jaar zomer voerde met een van de veroordeelden van de Hofstadgroep. Het is volgens de rechtbank bekend dat A. al enkele jaren terroristische idealen en doelen nastreeft en dat hij de AIVD ziet als de grote vijand, die hij de Anti-Islamitische Veiligheidsdienst noemt. De rechtbank heeft vrijdag drie medeverdachten van Samir A. veroordeeld tot gevangenisstraffen van vier en drie jaar. Een medeverdachte, de 20-jarige Mohammed H., werd vrijgesproken. Tegen hem was acht jaar cel geŽist. Evenals in het geval van Samir A. acht de rechtbank bewezen dat de verdachten zich schuldig hebben gemaakt aan het voorbereiden van terroristische aanslagen en wapenbezit met terroristisch oogmerk.
Page with background informational links for the Hofstadgroep and Piranha trial
MIM: The incompetence of Dutch law enforcement and court system when it comes to fighting terrorism was highlighted by the fact that Samir Azzouz had been arrested and tried 3 times on various charges in the past and aquitted and had been walking the streets between trial until he was finally jailed a few months ago.
The 2004 article below reveals that a Muslim mole in the Dutch security services had tipped him off about surveillance and the information compiled against him,It also shows that Van Gogh's killer Mohammed Bouyeri, (who was suceeded as head of the group by Samir Azzouz) had been released from police custody even after police found a martyrs testament in his house and he had been suspected of plotting attacks on the Dutch parliment, Schiphol airport and a nuclear reactor.
'Islamic fundamentalist' held over killing of filmmaker
By Times Online, and AP in Amsterdam
A suspected Islamic fundamentalist with alleged terrorist ties is being held at a Dutch prison hospital today for the killing of a Dutch filmmaker who criticised the treatment of women under Islam, Dutch authorities said.
Theo van Gogh, 47, was repeatedly shot and stabbed to death in an Amsterdam street on Tuesday, police said. The culprit was shot in the leg during a shootout with police.
Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner said the suspect "acted out of radical Islamic fundamentalist convictions," and that he had contacts with a group that was under surveillance by the Dutch secret service.
Police said the suspect, a 26-year-old man with dual Moroccan and Dutch citizenship whose name was not released, had a record of violent crime. He is allegedly a friend of an 18-year-old Muslim of Moroccan origin, Samir Azzouz, who is awaiting trial on charges of planning a terrorist attack on targets including a nuclear reactor and Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, NOS Dutch television reported.
Dutch newspapers ran extensive coverage on the killing with angry headlines and witness accounts. The Telegraaf daily read "Butchered" over a large colour photograph of Van Gogh's body with a knife protruding from his chest. The killer shot Van Gogh eight or nine times and put his weapon in the pocket of a beige raincoat before bending over his victim and cutting his throat with a knife, according to the Algemeen Dagblad.
The Dutch government held late night crisis meetings and the Immigration Minister met with Muslim groups to discuss how to avoid violent confrontations with the Muslim community.
The film by Van Gogh, the great-grandson of Vincent van Gogh's brother, was aired in August on Dutch television, drawing the ire of some Muslims.
Dutch Muslim groups, despite disagreeing with Van Gogh's views on Islam, condemned the killing and called for reconciliation. They expressed fears of possible reprisals against Muslims.
Around 20,000 people poured onto Amsterdam's central square in an emotional demonstration of support for Van Gogh and against violence.
Van Gogh, an award-winning filmmaker, television producer and newspaper columnist, was a controversial figure. He once mocked a prominent Dutch Jew, referred to Jesus as "the rotten fish" of Nazareth and called a radical Muslim politician "Allah's pimp."
His murder came at a time of increased tensions in the Netherlands, where many blame violent crime on the Muslim minority, mainly made up of immigrants. Muslims, in turn, say new anti-immigration and anti-terrorism laws unfairly discriminate against them.
Police said van Gogh was shot twice as he biked along an Amsterdam street. The assailant then shot him several more times at close range before stabbing him and placing a note on his body.
The killing instantly recalled the assassination of anti-immigration politician Pim Fortuyn, who was killed in 2002 by an animal rights activist. His death had shocked the people of a country where violent political crime is extremely rare.
Van Gogh said he had received threats after the airing of his film Submission, which he made with a right-wing Dutch politician who had renounced the Islamic faith of her birth. Police kept watch on van Gogh's house immediately after the film's airing but dropped that precaution because there was no concrete evidence of a threat, public prosecutor Leo de Wit said.
THE Dutch secret service has been infiltrated by an Islamic extremist linked to the killer of Theo van Gogh, the Dutch film-maker whose murder has accelerated Holland's transformation from one of Europe's most tolerant countries into a society increasingly polarised by fears about immigration.
Intelligence sources said last week that a mole working for a terrorist group codenamed the "Hofstad cell" had been arrested on suspicion of relaying information collected by the authorities to its members.
The disclosure has compounded the embarrassment of the security services, which have admitted they were watching Mohammed Bouyeri, the 26-year-old Dutch-born Moroccan charged with van Gogh's murder, from August 2002.
They ended their surveillance less than two weeks before Bouyeri allegedly shot the film director six times as he cycled down an Amsterdam street, then butchered him with a knife.
The murder ó apparently provoked by the 47-year-old van Gogh's outspoken attacks on radical Islam, including a film depicting Koranic verses on a naked female back to represent the supposed oppression of women ó has been followed by what Jan Peter Balkenende, the prime minister, called "a maelstrom of violence".
There have been more than 20 arson attacks on mosques, churches and schools ó the latest early yesterday on a mosque in the southeastern village of Helden. The spiral of attack and counterattack has shattered the image of Dutch society as one that cherishes consensus and abhors conflict.
Jozias van Aartsen, the parliamentary Speaker, warned yesterday: "Jihad has come to the Netherlands."
Several politicians ó including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a liberal MP of Somali origin and van Gogh's co-producer ó were forced into hiding after death threats from Islamic extremists, and a poll revealed that 40% of the Dutch now hope their 900,000 Muslim neighbours no longer feel at home. Some 80% want tougher policies against immigrants.
Like its counterparts in Britain, the Dutch secret service recruited Muslims and Arabic speakers after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America. Among them was a man named only as Outmar Ben A, a Dutch-born Moroccan taken on last year. Intelligence officials believe he was the mole. He was arrested in September and has been charged with supplying documents showing what the security services knew about the cell.
The documents included a file on one of the cell's alleged leaders, Samir Azzouz, an associate of Bouyeri, who has been charged with planning attacks on the Dutch parliament, Schipol airport and a nuclear reactor.
The material was unearthed during a search of Bouyeri's home after the murder. Bouyeri, who has refused to co-operate with interrogators, featured in numerous intelligence reports that linked him with suspected terrorists. One of them was believed to have been involved in the Casablanca bombings that killed 43 people in May last year.
Police records have revealed growing concern over the young man's desire to take part in jihad. "Bouyeri appears to be becoming increasingly radical, has changed his behaviour in a short time and now shouts out Koranic texts," said one report.
In October last year, anti-terrorist police raided a number of buildings, including Bouyeri's flat. But despite finding a "jihad martyr's will" that suggested he was planning a suicide operation, they released him without charge.
He was heard afterwards boasting to another suspect whose phone had been tapped that he had removed apparently incriminating documents before the raid. Bouyeri's own phone was tapped from July until October 21. Thirteen days later, wearing a jacket several sizes too large, he hunted down his victim with two butcher's knives and a pistol.
Since the early 1950s, when thousands of people from the former Dutch colony of Indonesia moved to the Indian quarter of Amsterdam where van Gogh was killed, the district has been at the heart of a multicultural experiment now deemed to have failed.