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Four Dutch defendants convicted for plotting terror attacks on politicians

[JURIST] Four of six Dutch terror suspects on trial [JURIST report] for planning attacks against Dutch politicians and government facilities were found guilty in Amsterdam Friday. The convicted include 20-year-old Samir Azzouz [Wikipedia profile], who was sentenced to a prison term of eight years for his central role in the plot and the making of a suicide-bomber video. Defendants Nouredine al Fatmi and Mohammed Chentouf each received four-year sentences for aiding the preparation for the attacks. Soumaya Sahla was given three-years for being an accomplice, while the fifth defendant was given a three-month sentence for passport fraud. The sixth defendant was acquitted of all charges. Trial judges ruled that the defendants, while sharing an militant radical interpretation of jihad, were not guilty of the additional charges of belonging to or recruiting for a terrorist organization.

Azzouz has been arrested three times in the Netherlands [JURIST news archive] and was acquitted last year of participating in a terrorist conspiracy [JURIST report]. The acquittal was met with public outcry, and Dutch legislators adopted more stringent anti-terror measures [JURIST report] prohibiting membership in terrorist organizations and recruiting for such groups. In October 2005, Azzouz was rearrested with his co-defendants for being in possession of a self-recorded suicide-bomber video, automatic weapons, ammunition, jihad training materials, and a list of home addresses for Dutch politicians [AP report], including Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende [official website]. AP has more.

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