Gay Pride may have been target of holiday house terror group: public prosecutor
The six men currently on trial in Rotterdam for preparing a major terrorist attack in the Netherlands may have been planning to target Gay Pride, the public prosecution said during the second day of hearings.
The suggestion comes from an email by Hardi N, said to be the ringleader, which was read out in court. ‘You decide what is easy for you guys to bring candy [weapons]. First we wanted to join military parade, but then a gay parade in august,’ the email said.
The email was probably sent to an uncover police officer who had infiltrated the gang on the pretext of selling them weapons, the AD reported.
The six were arrested after a major police undercover operation in September 2018. The investigation began into 34-year-old Hardi N, an Iraqi national, following a tip-off from the AIVD security service in early 2018.
At the time, the police said a ‘major terrorist attack’ had been averted, although details about what the gang were planning to do were thin.
The court was also shown footage and photos showing the group of suspected terrorists trying on bomb vests and waving Kalashnikov rifles while living in a house on a holiday park in Limburg.
The photos came from police footage of the four men and were made during a two hour meeting between the suspects and two undercover police officers. The police were posing as arms traders who could supply weapons for an attack and the holiday house was bugged to collect evidence. Four of the gang were arrested that same day.
One of the defendents, Waïl el A, told the court he was only at the holiday house because he wanted to meet someone who could help him travel to Syria. However, the public prosecutor says it has audio evidence of him talking about a car bomb. It also says he tried on one of the bomb vests provided by the undercover officers
Another defendent, Morat M, said he wanted a weapon to protect his wife who was being harassed for wearing a face veil.
‘I realise some of what we said comes over really radical, but if the undercover officer had not posed as a radical Muslim, we would not have spoken like that. We would have used Scarface language and spoken about a robbery or something,’ the AD quotes him as saying.
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