Heavy security as new terrorism trial starts
Monday 16 October 2006
The trial of five men and one woman in what has become known as the Piranha terrorism case began in the heavily-guarded Osdorp court building in Amsterdam this morning. The six, including twice-freed suspect Samir Azzouzz, are charged with membership of a terrorist organisation, illegal weapons possession and planning terrorist attacks.
The case, which is partly taking place behind closed doors, is expected to take three weeks. Among the evidence that will be presented by the prosecution department is a farewell video made by Azzouzz in which he warns that terrorist attacks would be made in the Netherlands and says goodbye to friends and family. The group has also been charged with planning to attack political figures and the headquarters of the secret service AIVD. On Friday it emerged that there was no evidence linking the two guns found in the basement of the block of flats where suspect Soumaya Sahla to the case. The guns were found by workmen in September.
Meanwhile, the Volkskrant reports this morning that the family of Sahla 23, had been tricked into helping secret service officials find their daughter after she disappeared in 2005 following her Islamic marriage to another Piranha suspect Nouredine el Fahtni. The couple were arrested in June that year while in possession of a loaded machine gun. Sahla was given a nine-month sentence, El Fahtni is serving five years.