Terror suspects were not serious about attack on politicians, lawyer says
The nine terrorist suspects arrested in Eindhoven one week ago did not have a concrete plan to attack politicians, lawyer of two of the suspect, Peter Plasman said. The suspects are alleged to have prepared to target Prime Minister Mark Rutte, PVV leader Geert Wilders and FvD leader Thierry Baudet, sources close to the investigation told De Telegraaf.
The accusation was based on a conversation that the suspects had while planning to watch a film on Netflix, in which nasty texts mentioning the politicians were exchanged. “But there was never talk of a serious plan where it was discussed who would carry out the plan and what would happen,” Plasman said. His clients “called themselves stupid for participating in the conversation,” according to the lawyer.
In the chats, the suspects did not name the politicians. “Horrible texts” were exchanged, according to Plasman, but nothing pointed towards his suspects having “jihadist sympathies”.
Public prosecutors did not want to comment because the matter concerned “an open investigation”, according to a spokesperson. On Wednesday, a judge ordered the nine suspects to remain in custody for two more weeks.
A spokesperson from Mark Rutte said the prime miniser does not want to comment on the news and referred to the OM for further questions. Baudet also does not want to comment on the developments.
Wilders, the leader of the PVV, already tweeted last Thursday that he might be an intended target: “Bilal el M. wanted to put a bullet through my head. The jihadists arrested last week in Eindhoven apparently had similar plans. It never ends,” he wrote.
Reporting by ANP