Seven out of nine men arrested on terrorism charges in Eindhoven in September 2021 should be found not guilty because there are doubts about whether they were planning a terror attack but two others should be jailed, the public prosecution department said on Tuesday.
The men all took part in sports training in a lock-up when gyms were closed because of the coronavirus measures. At the time, the public prosecutor said the lock-up was a training system where the group prepared both physically and mentally for a terrorist attack.
Now, however, the department says just two men, 27-year-old Marway M, who had IS videos on his phone, and 27-year-old Mohammad G, who had learned to shoot in Bulgaria, should be jailed, for four and three years respectively. They remain in custody, while the other seven were released from jail in May.
The group, ranging in age from 19 to 32, did watch IS films and instruction videos about making bombs, the department said. However, no weapons or explosives were found during the investigation, nor were there any concrete plans for an attack.
The men all deny all the charges and say comments made about terror attacks were not meant to be taken seriously. An expert in radicalisation who interviewed the men prior to an earlier hearing in November, also said the comments were made in fun and that the group did not legitimise violence from an ideological perspective.
The trial will take place in January over 10 days and the verdict is due in March.
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