The nine terror suspects did not plan an attack, experts think

Eindhoven terror suspects
Photo credit: Rechtspraak.nl/Studio040

The nine Eindhoven terror suspects shared extremist films with each other and also watched them, but according to an expert they had no intention of using violence themselves. The expert told the court on Tuesday. However, he believes there is a risk that the men will still become radicalised.

The case has been going on since September 2021. Then the men were arrested on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack. They would have talked about a bomb attack at chip company ASML in Veldhoven, and they would also like to kill Geert Wilders, Mark Rutte and Thierry Baudet. They would also sympathise with the terrorist group IS.

‘How-to video for suckers’
The lawyers of the nine previously indicated that their clients had only made ‘wrong jokes’. About a video showing someone making a bomb, one of them said: “Very funny, a kind of instructional video for suckers”.

That image also loomed during the previous session, when secretly recorded conversations were played. The atmosphere during those conversations, which include making weapons with a 3D printer and Bin Laden, was laughable.

Self-mockery
On Tuesday, the expert who delved into the motives of the nine spoke to the court. It is clear that extremist (execution) videos were shared and viewed. But according to him this only happened out of ‘intellectual curiosity’, the ‘wanting to outdo each other’ and the ‘quest for status’. Self-mockery is also mentioned: the men would like to jokingly portray themselves as radical.

He draws this conclusion based on the file, the recorded conversations and several meetings he had with the men. He also points out that the boundary of what is acceptable in youth culture and on social media is different than outside of these scenes. For example, memes with gruesome images are mentioned as something very popular in street culture.

Concerns about radicalisation
Why does the expert believe this explanation of the men, the public prosecutor wants to know. This story could also be camouflage, right? The expert says he has no reason to suspect that. He does not think that ideas will be converted into actions and, according to him, there was no question of preparing terrorist acts.

He does, however, express his concerns about possible radicalisation in the future. Due to the frequent sharing and viewing of extremist videos together, this is something that, according to him, may be lurking.

The case continues on Thursday. Thirteen court days have been set aside for the hearing in November, December and also in January next year.

Source: Studio040

Translated by: Bob

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