Up to 17 years in prison for planning terrorist attack in Netherlands
On Thursday, the court in Rotterdam sentenced a group of men to up to 17 years in prison for preparing a major terrorist attack in the Netherlands.
The group, who came to be known as the 27 September cell, was arrested after an undercover police operation, started based on information from the AIVD in 2018. Two undercover police officers posed as weapons dealers and made contact with prime suspect and group leader Hardi N. They supplied the group with deactivated rifles and bomb vests and trained them on how to use these weapons in a holiday home in Weert, where recording devices were installed beforehand.
N. received the highest sentence on Thursday - 17 years in prison, NU.nl reports. The 36-year-old man never denied the accusations against him, but claimed entrapment. According to N., the undercover officers urged him to commit an attack. The court ruled that there was no evidence for this.
The other suspects - Wail El A., Nadeem S., Nabil B., Morat M., and Shevan A. - were sentenced to up to 13 years in prison.
During the trial, it was revealed that Pride Amsterdam was considered as a target for the attack, but the group was unable to obtain weapons in time. After that, they hadn't made a new decision on a place and time for their attack, AD reports.
Public prosecutor Ferry van Veghel said during the trial that this would have been "an attack like the Netherlands has never seen, inspired by what happened in Paris". "Our country has never been this close to such a major attack," he said.
The prosecutor demanded up to 20 years in prison against the six men.