Saturday, March 11, 2006

Terrorist judgement breakthrough

Only a mile away from our house, there is the heavily protected Amsterdam Osdorp court. Yesterday many roads were blocked and streets were full of media.

Dutch judges convicted nine men of belonging to a terrorist group, a landmark verdict that concludes promoting a violent version of Islam can itself be an act of terrorism.

The case opens a new way for prosecutors to stop potential terrorists and for the Netherlands to tackle the broader problem of the spread of radicalism among Muslim youth.
Lawyers for the men said they will appeal.

Two men received 15- and 13-year prison terms for attempted murder after a clash with police during their arrest. One received a five-year term for possessing a loaded machine gun.
The rest were sentenced to up to two years in prison. All were found to have spread hateful propaganda among their friends and on the Internet, encouraging Muslims to join a holy war against the West.

Though most sentences were short, the judgment was sweeping.

"Anyone who preaches hate and violence lays the basis for committing crimes directed at instilling fear among the people and destroying Dutch democracy," said Judge Rene Elkerbout, reading the three-judge panel's ruling. "This is what the suspects contributed to. The court weighs that heavily against them."

Hurray for Holland I say! I hope many countries follow..