Eindhoven terror suspects were out to get Rutte, Wilders and Baudet: Report
Prime Minister Mark Rutte was the apparent target of a terrorist plot crafted by ISIS sympathizers, which prompted the arrests this week of nine men in Eindhoven. They were also considering attacks on PVV leader Geert Wilders and FvD leader Thierry Baudet, sources close to the investigation told De Telegraaf. They organized themselves with visits to a “training center” in the Noord-Brabant city, the newspaper quoted the Public Prosecution Service as saying.
The case is the second time in a week that a serious threat against Rutte was made known. Signals that organized crime figures cobbled together a plot to attack or abduct the prime minister led the government to increase his visible security detail significantly. Rutte himself reportedly balked at the idea of increasing his security.
The two threats are not connected, according to the De Telegraaf. Authorities have not yet revealed details of the alleged plot involving the Eindhoven group.
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) identified the nine suspects as a group of jihadist sympathizers who support ISIS. They are all men between the ages of 18 and 31. Eight of the suspects were born in the Netherlands, and one was born in Afghanistan. The OM and the police consider the situation to be very serious, sources close to the investigation unit told the newspaper.
Peter Plasman, an attorney for two of the suspects in custody, said that his clients never actually developed a serious plot, and had no intention of carrying out an attack. They were only "being sarcastic, and they made terrible jokes."
Serge Weening, a lawyer for two other suspects, complained that the OM is treating the men as if they were already convicted of a crime. "Everyone in the Netherlands now thinks that they have something to do with terrorism," he told NOS.