Eindhoven terrorism suspects can be released from custody: Prosecutor
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) believes that the suspects in the Eindhoven terrorism case can be released from custody. The OM initially suspected that the nine men planned to commit a terrorist attack. But experts now judge, partly based on conversations with the suspects, that they do not "ideologically legitimize violence."
The suspects also don't support terrorist organizations, which the OM initially thought they did. "We see no reason to doubt the experts' judgments," the prosecutor said on Thursday during a hearing in the high-security court at Schiphol. The judge will decide later whether to release the suspects. It is not clear whether that will happen today or on another day. Two of the nine suspects were previously released from custody.
The group was arrested in September last year. They said they rented a garage box in Eindhoven for a year to work out in because the gyms were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But according to the OM, the garage box was a training center where the group prepared itself physically and mentally for an attack in the spirit of the violent jihad.
According to the OM, the group members, ranging in age from 18 to 31, regularly watched ISIS videos and instructional videos about making weapons and bombs and talked about intended attacks. The authorities found no weapons or explosives or any concrete plans or dates for an attack.
The suspects themselves vehemently deny the accusations. According to them, these were just bad jokes from a group of acquaintances who exercised together in a garage in Eindhoven. Their lawyers also said that the OM was making the case much bigger than it was. "The entire criminal case seems to be based on a mistake," attorney Tamara Buruma said.