Thursday, April 07, 2005

"Hofstad" Terror Suspect Freed in Rotterdam

A suspected terrorist, Samir A. (18), has been cleared of conspiracy to commit terrorist attacks in Rotterdam. He was a friend of Theo van Gogh's murderer, Mohammed B., and allegedly a member of the "Hofstadgroep", a cell of Islamists based in The Hague, some of whom were arrested in the wake of the van Gogh murder.

Samir B. was in possession of unspecified weapons, a bullet-proof vest, and plans of potential bombing targets. Nevertheless, the court found that there was a lack of proof to convict him of conspiracy. The prosecutors will appeal against the decision.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders, the two Dutch politicians explicitly threatened with death by the Hofstadgroep, reacted with alarm to the news. There was a chorus of unease from other Dutch politicians too.

The result is good news for the other Hofstadgroep members still awaiting trial in custody. It seems the burden of proof is unfeasibly high - as any attempt to prove an intention must be - and that most of these Islamists will be set free to carry on with impunity.

The link is to the Algemeen Dagblad (Dutch only) - 'Als Allah het wil ben jij aan de beurt, Ali'

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