Five men from Enschedé have been jailed for three and two years for attempting to set fire to a mosque in the city, in what judges said was a ‘terrorist act’.
The men were convicted of throwing two Molotov cocktails at the mosque in February. Some 30 people, including children, were inside the mosque at the time.
No-one was hurt in the arson attempt and the mosque was not damaged. Nevertheless, ‘by putting their extreme right wing and racist thoughts into action, they caused major anxiety among mosque-goers in Enschedé and within the Dutch Muslim community at large,’ the judges said in their ruling.
The sentence is in line with the public prosecution’s demand. The men’s lawyer had called for a shorter sentence, saying there is no question that the men were acting as terrorists.
The court, however said, the men’s ‘limited intelligence’ and the ‘amateurish’ way they tried to set the mosque on fire did not take away from the fact that their actions were terrorist in nature, local paper Tubantia reported.
Four of the men were jailed for four years, one suspended. The fifth was sentenced to four years in jail, two years suspended, because he was the only one of the gang to say he was sorry for what had happened.
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