THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Authorities detained seven suspects in an anti-terrorism operation Friday in three Dutch cities, officials said.
The chief suspect in the raids was Samir Azzouz, a 19-year-old Dutch national of Moroccan descent who was acquitted of terrorism charges earlier this year.
Azzouz was 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.
Here's what's interesting about Samir Azzouz. He escaped justice once already in Holland and obviously went right back to his terrorist activities. The clear warning by Pen van der Kooi has proven correct. Will we continue to ignore the warnings like the Dutch government and will we pay a higher price?
Mohammed Bouyeri, was the man who shot Theo Van Gogh then cut his throat and pinned a five-page note to his chest laced with religious ramblings and threats of further attacks on politicians.
Van Gogh was an outspoken critic of the treatment of women under Islam — the subject of his last film "Submission." He wrote a weekly newspaper column and hosted a TV talk show that he sometimes used to provoke and insult religious Muslims, as well as Jews and Christians. He targeted people he viewed as overly religious, arrogant or sensitive.
"I'm deeply religious — I worship a pig," he once said. "I call him Allah."
Prosecutors said Bouyeri belonged to a group of fundamentalists who met with a Jordanian spiritual guide at Bouyeri's house. The guide's whereabouts are now unknown.
Twelve other men accused of belonging to the group were arrested after the killing and are also awaiting trial on terrorism charges. An alleged 13th member, Samir Azzouz, was acquitted.
Mainstream Muslim organizations condemned the killing. But Bouyeri is considered a hero by some in the country's poorest immigrant neighborhoods.
Islamic fundamentalists "started a war on Sept. 11, 2001," said Pen van der Kooi, a self-described right-wing nationalist who attended the hearing. "On March 11, 2004, it came to Europe, and on Nov. 2, 2004, it came to the Netherlands," he said in a reference to the bombing of commuter trains in Madrid in March 2004.
"If the Dutch government doesn't get serious, you're going to have more of these kinds of attacks," he said.
If you really want to see all the incriminating evidence on Samir, go here. You will truly be amazed that this guy was walking around free.
There is a valuable lesson in what has happened here if we are willing to learn from it.