Six men have been jailed for periods of 10 to 17 years for making plans to launch a jihadist attack on a large event in the Netherlands and for setting up a terrorist organisation.
The six were arrested in Arnhem and on a holiday park in Weert in September 2018 after the gang was infiltrated by police officers posing as arms traders.
Iraqi national Hardi N, said to be the leader of the gang, was jailed for 17 years. Three others – Nabil B, Morat M and Wail el A – were jailed for 13. The remaining two, Shevan A and Nadim S, were jailed for 10. None were in court for sentencing.
The court said the group had been planning a ‘bloody attack in which a large number of innocent people would have been victims’. It was thanks to the police and government services that they had not been able to carry out their plan, the court said in its ruling.
The court rejected defence claims that the police had used entrapment techniques to get the men to buy weapons from them to carry out their attacks.
During the trial the court was shown footage and photos showing four of 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.
‘This is without question the most serious case in years,’ the prosecutor said during the trial in June. ‘It would have been attack of the size of Paris,’ he said, referring to co-ordinated terrorist attacks that took place on 13 November 2015, which left 130 people dead.
Gay Pride, a nightclub or an army base were among the potential targets, the prosecutor said.
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