Prosecutors on Monday appealed the acquittal earlier this year of a Dutch-Moroccan teenager suspected of plotting attacks on politicians or government targets, just two weeks after he was arrested again for planning what appeared to be a suicide assault.
Samir Azzouz, 19, was freed last April when a court found insufficient evidence that he had prepared attacks on Schiphol international airport or the Dutch nuclear reactor. He was convicted of lesser charges of illegally possessing a pellet gun and ammunition clips, but was immediately released because he had been jailed for longer than his three-month sentence.
At Monday's hearing, Prosecutor G. Haverkate recounted the list of other incriminating material Azzouz had been caught with, including possible components for bombs and detailed maps of potential targets.
Azzouz said he intended to remain silent during the hearing. "I don't believe the evidence against me is strong enough that remaining silent will have any consequences," he told the judges.
Azzouz was arrested again during an anti-terror sweep in three Dutch cities Oct. 14, along with five other men and a woman. It was the third time in two years he has been arrested for suspected terrorist activities.
At an initial hearing two weeks ago, prosecutors disclosed they had found a "farewell" video Azzouz had prepared for family and friends, similar to videos left by suicide bombers in the Palestinian territories and Iraq.
Azzouz was allegedly in the process of purchasing automatic weapons and explosives, "probably to carry out an attack with others on several politicians and a government building," a prosecution statement said.
Police said the arrests were linked to renewed threats against two politicians who have been outspoken in their criticism of the failure of many Muslims in the Netherlands to integrate into Dutch society and have campaigned for curtailing further immigration.
The hearing came two days before the first anniversary of the murder of Dutch columnist and filmmaker Theo van Gogh by an Islamic radical and friend of Azzouz, Mohammed Bouyeri. The court that sentence Bouyeri to life imprisonment ruled the slaying an act of terrorism.
Azzouz first came under suspicion in October 2003 but was quickly released from detention for lack of evidence. He was arrested again eight months later when police found what they said was evidence of a plan to attack Schiphol international airport, a Dutch nuclear reactor or government buildings, the AP reports.
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