Friday, October 14, 2005

Seven Islamists Arrested in Holland In Preemptive Strike

The Dutch police have arrested seven Islamist members of the Hofstad group in Amsterdam, The Hague, Leiden and Almere in a preemptive action to prevent them assassinating unnamed politicians in the Dutch Parliament. The likely targets would be the MP's Ayaan Hirsi Ali (who wrote the script for assassinated director Theo van Gogh's Submission) and Geert Wilders, another prominent anti-Islamist politician.

At least two of the arrested would-be terrorists had been arrested before but let go due to lack of evidence. No gunshots were fired but the security forces blew up a door in The Hague.

Neighbours of one of the men in The Hague - a married Moroccan with a Surinamese wife and a child - described him as "very nice".

Assuming a major terrorist outrage has truly been prevented, the Dutch are to be congratulated. Furthermore, it seems that letting suspected Islamists go when there is insufficient evidence to try them may be a better idea than suspending habeas corpus to keep them cooped up - an identified suspect on the loose may lead the police to further suspects or, as in this case, specific plots.

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